Joy Covey is most known for her amazing work as Amazon’s first Chief Financial Officer. Unfortunately, she lost her life yesterday at the age of 50. Here are the 5 Fast Facts on her life and death.
1. Joy Covey Died in a Bicycle Accident
While bicycling on Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County, California, there was a tragic accident, according to Business Week. Yesterday, Covey was riding downhill and collided with a minivan. Though she was wearing a bike helmet, she still wasn’t able to be saved. Bloomberg reports that she was pronounced dead at the scene and the coroner’s office confirmed her identity.
Covey leaves behind a son named Tyler.
2. Covey Helped Take Amazon.com to Where it is Today
Joining Amazon in December, 1996, Covey came on as the CFO where she persuaded investors to be patient while Amazon struggled to make its way to the top as a dominant online seller.
Bloomberg reports that:
Amazon went public on May 14, 1997, with an initial public offering price of $18. Shares closed yesterday at a record $312.06.
When Covey first joined the company, it had 150 employees and $16 million in sales. According to Bloomberg, as of December, the company has over $61 billion in sales, with over 88,400 employees.
3. She Never Finished High School
Covey was born in Boston, Massachusetts on April 25, 1963 to a physician named Maurice C. Covey and Joan De Vries, but she was raised in San Mateo, California. At the age of 15, she dropped out of school and moved away from home to work as a grocery clerk in Fresno, California. But, even though she hadn’t finished high school, she managed to graduate from California State University in 1982 and later from Harvard Law School in 1989. So, she definitely did something right along the way.
4. Amazon’s Founder Has Spoken Wonders About Her
Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon has spoken about her role as CFO to the Wall Street Journal. In 1999, he said:
Except on an occasional basis when it is critical for me to deal with Wall Street, she makes it possible for me to spend a lot more of my time on the customer experience … But her job is not only in the CFO capacity, but somewhat broader and deeper in communicating our message to investors, which is so important to our future.
One of her friends from Pandodaily had kind words to say about her yesterday upon hearing of her death. Kym McNicholas said:
Joy was very unassuming. Unless someone else told you then you would never know how successful she was. She would tell people that Amazon didn’t define her – that she was so much more. Her friends, including me, knew this was true. I didn’t know for over a year after meeting her about her success story. I just knew her as the incredibly athletic, heartwarming, caring, fun woman. She was an avid kiteboarder and frequented the Maitai kiteboarding events where we regularly hung out casually on the beach. She just recently lived out her dream kiting underneath Golden Gate Bridge. She was always quick to offer any help or advice to anyone launching a company, asking for nothing in return. She will be greatly missed!
5. Covey Loved Adventure and Was an “Active Environmentalist”
In her most recent years, Covey has been a trustee at the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council. The organization said she “loves adventure, travel, and outdoor activities, including kit surfing, skiing, and cycling.” So, at least she died doing something she loved. The NRDC called her an “active environmentalist”, as she once used her pilot license to transport a Mexican gray wolf from St. Louis to the woods of the Southwest and rescued an orphaned grizzly cub from Alaska.