2019: Another new entry to this year’s Top 100, Alexandre Gagnon has taken over from Prentis Wilson as VP for Amazon Business. Gagnon has big boots to fill – Wilson took charge of Amazon’s B2B business in 2015 when it was transformed from the AmazonSupply platform into Amazon Business and created a $10 billion+ giant. To put that figure into perspective, a year after the relaunch, the platform had sales of $1 billion. If the current trajectory maintains its momentum, don’t be surprised if the next time Amazon reveals sales figures for the division, they easily top $15-$20 billion.
A natural choice to replace Wilson, Gagnon is no stranger to Amazon, having spent the past 15 years there in several roles. He started in the business in 2004 as a Music Buying Manager, working his way through the ranks, including supporting the launch of Amazon in Italy and Spain in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
As Technical Advisor, International Consumer, he relocated from France to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington, in 2011. Just two years later, he was made Managing Director of Amazon Canada and Amazon Mexico and VP of the division another three years after that.
His international experience will stand him in good stead, as Amazon Business already serves more than half of the companies registered on the Fortune 100 in the US, the FTSE 100 in the UK and the Dax in Germany. Last year, it launched in several countries – Italy, Spain and France – taking the total to eight (Japan and India as well, in addition to the aforementioned ones).
Over the past year, the firm has divulged a number of plans to boost business customer numbers which, Amazon claims, are already in the millions worldwide. Not all strategies are currently available outside the US, but they include: spending $800 million to provide a free one-day shipping service for its Prime members; Guided Buying for small businesses wanting to connect with government buyers and improve compliance; free access to website tools from web hosting firm GoDaddy; and Amazon Day for Business whereby Prime members can choose a recurring day of the week to receive their deliveries.