John Rossman Profile

  • As Director of Merchant Integration at, he pioneered and launched the Amazon Marketplace, a platform that has grown to a $40 billion value.

  • He provides a unique insider look at Amazon's strategies, management techniques, and approaches along with suggestions on how you can apply them to your organization on a daily basis.

  • Equipped with nearly three decades of experience in technology strategy, design, implementation and operating experience, he has assisted countless complex companies build and execute new business models, boosting their performance and keeping them on the winning side of disruptive innovation.
  • An unmatched authority on disruptive innovation, John Rossman pioneered’s third-party service business, which now accounts for more than 50% of the multi-billion dollar company’s profits. Today he uses his unique insider experience to help companies build and execute new business models so they can boost their performance and stay on the winning edge of disruptive innovation.

    Apart from launching Amazon Marketplace, one of the world’s largest B2B networks, John oversaw e-commerce solutions for Amazon’s enterprise clients including, Toys R Us,, Marks and Spencer and the NBA. His book The Amazon Way, is an accessible no-frills guide to understanding and applying Amazon principles, culture, and philosophy to your own business.

    Currently John serves as a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal Business Consulting in Seattle, Washington. Additionally, he is the Senior Technology Advisor to the world’s largest philanthropy, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      John Rossman is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal in Seattle, specializing in technology strategy, multi-channel operations scaling and platform enablement in multiple industries including retail, service and public sector.

      With more than 28 years of technology strategy, design, implementation and operating experience, Mr. Rossman has led several complex businesses and programs resulting in innovative business models. He has worked with clients across a broad range of industries including retail, insurance, education, forest products, industrial products and transportation.

      John Rossman is the author of The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles of the World’s Most Disruptive
      and is an expert on digital disruption and assisting his clients to build and execute new business models. He has served as the Senior Technology Adviser to the world’s largest philanthropy for more than three years, assisting in strategy and execution of complex data, technology integration, IP and multi-party program management initiatives that help to improve student outcomes. He has also assisted multiple retail
      and service companies with their multi-channel strategies and execution. These assignments include definition of strategic outcomes, process and technology architecting, process scaling assessments and implementations and managing significant cultural and organizational leadership change tied to multi-channel strategies. John Rossman served as the interim CIO for a large rental business retailer and helped implement multiple cost reduction and service improvement programs.

      Before joining A&M, Mr. Rossman was Director of Enterprise Services at, managing worldwide
      services to enterprise clients such as, Toys R Us,, Marks and Spencer and the National
      Basketball Association (NBA). In this role, he had full operational and technical ownership for existing clients,
      overseeing e-commerce solutions such as online merchandising capability, website technologies, branded fulfillment delivery and branded customer service. As Director of Merchant Integration at, he was responsible for developing the Merchants @ program, one of the largest B2B networks with thousands of sellers, offering products in new categories such as apparel, sporting goods, consumer electronics, health and
      beauty and home.

      Previously, he was a partner with Arthur Andersen Business Consulting. Mr. Rossman earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Oregon State University.

    John Rossman Speaking Videos

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    John Rossman's Speech Descriptions

    As one of the co-founders of the Amazon Marketplace, John Rossman has been part of a major initiative that now defines the Amazon that most of us know. John takes audiences deep into Amazon’s unique culture and leadership principles, unpacking lessons on innovation and growth from the world’s most disruptive company. His on point programs examine vital themes like how to move faster, create customer obsession, boost technology effectiveness, improve decision making and have a leaner approach to innovation.

    Lessons Learned from Amazon | Nimbleness, Innovation and Leadership in Responding to COVID-19
    “Crises have a way of accelerating the inevitable,” starts a Wall Street Journal article titled “The Future Comes Early for Grocers,” and this insight is applicable across the board. The current public health crisis is exposing which companies and leaders are nimble, flexible and able to adjust in the short term and which will likely grow over the long term as a result. It is also exposing which companies are rigid.

    No company demonstrates nimbleness better than Amazon. In short order, Amazon has been able to make decisions and adjustments, flex with the needs of the market, and will likely find new businesses and opportunities from the crisis that outweigh any short-term negative business impacts. And this doesn’t happen by accident. It’s because Amazon is built this way – built for decisiveness; built for nimbleness; built to adjust and scale. The Amazon leadership principles play a key role in building this culture. What can we learn to apply into our own practices?

    How do we as business leaders adapt to the short term and plan for the long term? The answer is to “think like Amazon” and build a culture and operating systems designed for moments like this. Leveraging ideas from his best-selling book Think Like Amazon, John Rossman will discuss several aspects of the field that will likely change and leave audiences with strategies, tools and questions to help create this future.

    Think Like Amazon about — The Future of Your Industry
    What is the future of your industry? It is a question that leaders must ask themselves often. But what are the right questions to ask, what metrics should be used, how is our industry going to be disrupted? All of these questions will be answered by former Amazon Executive John Rossman. John launched and scaled their third-party platform which today accounts for over 50% of Amazon’s business. By leveraging many of the ideas from Think Like Amazon, Rossman will propose several aspects of your industry that will likely change and leave audiences with strategies, tools, and questions to help create this future.

    Working Backwards -- The Amazon Way
    What is working backward and why is it some important at Amazon? The process of working backward colors everything that Amazon does and includes important principles like customer obsession think big, and “learn and be curious”. It has techniques like writing a future press release, narratives, and FAQs. It demonstrates how Amazon is consistently able to successfully scale and operate at a high level. Best Selling Author and Former Amazon Executive will discuss the principles and practices that have made Amazon’s Way of doing business so successful. He will also show how your organization can apply the same thinking to achieve great success and market share as he has modeled at other organizations like the Gates Foundation, T-Mobile, and Nordstrom.

    Leadership and Strategies for Post-Pandemic Business Leaders – The Amazon Way”
    How do we adjust and change our playbook for a post-pandemic era? The future has accelerated – how do leaders and strategies need to change along with it? Leveraging the Amazon leadership principles, hear from former Amazon executive and business strategist John Rossman the tangible principles and techniques behind the principles to compete in the post-pandemic era.

    Think Like Amazon about — Strategy and Corporate Culture
    Amazon is a fierce competitor, a systematic innovator and creating a dramatic change in many industries. How does Amazon think about and create the playbook of strategy, operational excellence, and innovation? What can you learn from them and apply them into your business? In John Rossman’s signature leadership keynote, he will reveal and unpack the secrets of Amazon’s unparalleled growth and how the company’s culture has driven innovation and growth. From Think Like Amazon: 50 ½ Ideas to Become a Digital Leader, audiences are leaning forward, taking notes and inspired with strategies and tools to innovate and lead.

    Think Like Amazon about- Innovation
    Leaders at Amazon expect and require innovation and invention from their teams. They are externally aware and look for new ideas everywhere. Amazon has a thrilling power to innovate that few other companies have matched. But how does Amazon continue to innovate and outperform the competition? Through a systematic approach and a deep understanding of what it means to be digital, Amazon has created a culture and system that continues to outperform everyone else. Former Amazon executive turned digital strategy consultant John Rossman will leverage ideas from his book “Think Like Amazon” to show how all companies and organizations are capable of innovating at the same level as Amazon.

    The Amazon Way™ on IOT
    From John Rossman’s book The Amazon Way™: 10 Lessons Every Leader Should Learn from Amazon’s IoT Strategy, the former Amazon executive unpacks how connected devices will transform industries and businesses, and what leaders should do to take advantage. Rossman will look at how connected devices will revolutionize how business is done and change the marketplace. This speech will give leaders from all types of businesses a blueprint on how to leverage connected devices for the future of their business.

    What People are Saying about Seeing John Speak

    Rating Entries

    “As a former Amazon executive, John Rossman provides a unique view into how a digital world may impact companies of all types and sizes. As the Internet of Things (loT) becomes more mainstream, companies need to think differently about how they interact with and provide value to customers in an ever-connected world. John uses his industry knowledge and connections to incorporate real-life examples of how some big name companies are approaching this phenomenon.”
    – President and COO, Nationwide Direct and Member Solutions

    “John is perhaps one of the foremost experts on Amazon and corporate cultures that focus on innovation. His recent book on the Amazon Way is a testament to the core insights John has been able to surface. Recently, John was invited to do a forum at Xerox PARC. We were not only oversubscribed for the forum, but the audience itself gave John and his presentation the highest rank of all the seminars this past year. I highly recommend John as a speaker to all audiences interested in corporate innovation, company cultures, and the impact of emerging technology on new business models.”
    – Xerox

    I thought your talk was incredibly insightful and effective; I found myself referencing a lot of it while working with their teams. The overall structure— the juxtaposition of principles and how they are put into practice—is great. And the depth of practical knowledge was greater than in most other speakers’ talks (comparing propositional knowledge—“knowing that” v practical knowledge “knowing how”). As a speaker, you’re high energy and wholly credible, so I thought it was fantastic.
    – Deloitte

    “It was a privilege to have John Rossman speak at our March 25th, 2015, Georgia Technology Summit. Our Summit is one of the largest tech events in the SE, with over 1,300 attendees participating. This year’s Summit theme was ‘Disruptive Innovation – The Power to Inspire’. John’s remarks were right on target. Combining key points in his Book, the Amazon Way, with his broader knowledge base, made for a quality presentation. One participant sent me an unsolicited note comparing John’s presentation to a high-level Ted Talk. I would recommend John for speaking opportunities for an event of any size when the topic revolves around innovation and/or disruption. He was also a pleasure to work with, which is a sometimes overlooked aspect when it comes to speaker selection, yet of critical importance.”
    AG – Technology Association of Georgia

    “We needed an expert to speak at our corporate leadership event—someone who was able to speak at length on adopting different corporate cultures and looking at business from a different perspective than our own. While people may not think of Amazon and AAA Washington as having much in common, finding ways to make a business more efficient and keeping the customer in focus is a basis for all organizations. His personal history at Amazon gave us a unique view of an incredibly successful company and what it takes to innovate, lead, and sometimes disrupt the status quo.”
    – AAA

    “In planning our 2015 product organization kickoff, we looked for a speaker who could both inspire and offer practical insights on execution. We were lucky to have John Rossman present to the team. John introduced us to the key leadership principles he observed during his time at Amazon, which are also described in his excellent (and accessible) book, The Amazon Way.”
    – CIPP

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    Books by John Rossman:

    The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World’s Most Disruptive Company

    In just twenty years, has gone from a start-up internet bookseller to a global company revolutionizing multiple industries, including retail, publishing, logistics, devices, apparel, and cloud computing. But what is at the heart of’s rise to success? Is it the tens of millions of items in stock, the company’s technological prowess, or the many customer service innovations like “one-click”? As a leader at Amazon who had a front-row seat during its formative years, John Rossman understands the iconic company better than most. From the launch of Amazon’s third-party seller program to their foray into enterprise services, he witnessed it all—the amazing successes, the little-known failures, and the experiments whose outcomes are still in doubt. In The Amazon Way, Rossman introduces readers to the unique corporate culture of the world’s largest Internet retailer, with a focus on the fourteen leadership principles that have guided and shaped its decisions and its distinctive leadership culture. Peppered with humorous and enlightening firsthand anecdotes from the author’s career at Amazon, this revealing business guide is also filled with the valuable lessons that have served Jeff Bezos’s “everything store” so well—providing expert advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, CEOs, and investors alike.

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