Amazon's First CFO Killed in Bike Accident

Joy Covey oversaw company's IPO
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2013 7:44 AM CDT
Updated Sep 20, 2013 8:10 AM CDT
Amazon's First CFO Killed in Bike Accident
In this Nov. 11, 2010 file photo, the Amazon.com logo adorns an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Goodyear, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

(Newser) – Amazon.com's first CFO was killed Wednesday afternoon in a bicycle accident, authorities confirmed yesterday. Joy Covey, 50, was riding on a rural road in Woodside, California, when she collided with a minivan as it turned onto another street. "She was wearing a helmet, but the injuries were too severe," says a California Highway Patrol officer. "The vehicle turned left directly in front of the bicycle, which was traveling downhill." The 22-year-old driver has not been cited, but authorities are still investigating, the San Jose Mercury News reports. In a tragic twist, police say he may have been making deliveries for OnTrac—a shipping service that counts Amazon among its customers, the New York Times reports.

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Covey was the CFO and VP of finance and administration from 1996 to 1999, and oversaw Amazon's IPO, the San Francisco Chronicle reports; during that time she was named one of the 50 most powerful business women in America by Fortune. After leaving Amazon in 2000 she served on various boards, started a nonprofit, and most recently worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "It's a very sad day for Amazon," a company spokesperson tells CNET's Dara Kerr, who describes Covey as "instrumental in making the massive e-commerce company what it is today." Many reports on her death are citing a 2002 Harvard Law Bulletin interview, in which Covey recounted dropping out of high school and working as a grocery clerk; she ended up graduating from Fresno State in just 2.5 years, and got her law and MBA degrees from Harvard. (Covey wasn't the only business leader to die this week.)

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