The longtime Amazon executive who helped lead the company’s grocery efforts just took a new role as the first chief operating officer at Hopin, a London-based event management software provider.
Gao left Amazon this summer after more than 16 years at the tech giant. She held multiple positions at Amazon, including as Jeff Bezos’ technical advisor from July 2018 to January 2020. Previous “shadows” to Bezos include Andy Jassy, the former Amazon Web Services CEO who took over for Bezos last month as the company’s CEO; Amit Agarwal, who runs Amazon India; and others. Gao was only the second woman to be appointed to the role.
Gao is one of several Amazon execs to leave this year, as Jassy takes the reins from Bezos as CEO. Other notable departures include Charlie Bell, a 23-year Amazon cloud computing vet and member of its senior leadership team who reportedly took a job at rival Microsoft; Steve Kessel, who led Amazon’s physical stores business; and former Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke, among others.
Hopin has seen huge growth over the past 18 months with the pandemic driving demand for virtual events. The company has more than 100,000 organizations using its technology such as Twitch, The Atlantic, The New York Jets, and others. It offers tools for both virtual and in-person events. Hopin raised $450 million earlier this month at a $7.75 billion valuation. It employs 800 employees in 47 countries.
“Wei brings incredible technical and operational leadership experience from her time at Amazon,” Hopin CEO Johnny Boufarhat wrote on LinkedIn. “She will help shape the ongoing innovation at Hopin and deliver scalable operations that will allow us to continue building the best shared experiences platform for our customers.”