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Ethan Evans' Career Path: Startup Manager to Amazon VP

Ethan Evans is a retired Amazon VP. He shared his career journey starting out during the dot-com boom of the 1990s, quickly ascending as a manager at a string of startups.

Early Career and Management Path:

  • Ethan started in management early, taking on a TPM role for a small project due to the team's need.
  • He was drawn to leadership because the project lacked organization, focus, and communication.
  • Ethan was supported by managers and encouraged to continue in the role. He progressed through several startups, growing in each one and reaching VP level by the third.

Joining Amazon:

  • Ethan was a "fake" startup VP before going getting downleveled as a manager at Amazon, and it took years for him to return to a true VP role, managing a team of 800 people.
  • The startup he was at was failing, and Amazon offered more compensation despite being giving a worse title.
  • He initially managed a team of six at Amazon, which eventually grew to 800.

Ethan credits his rapid ascent to:

  • Seeing problems and proactively solving them.
  • Taking initiative and asking for more responsibility.
  • Curiosity and motivation to understand the bigger picture.

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