Though she began her career in academics, Petra Schindler-Carter pivoted to the business world during the dot-com era and then joined Amazon in the early 2000s. The company is glad she made that transition.
Her early experience helping serve Amazon’s customers and helping the company launch into new categories made her an ideal candidate to help launch Amazon Business — the newly created entity that grew out of the old AmazonSupply — in 2015. Schindler-Carter was thankful for the opportunity.
“It allowed me to build on the richness of my e-commerce experience, but do it fresh and take an unbiased look at a different industry,” she says. “I was able to ask a lot of these great Amazon questions about how can we work backwards from customer needs, how can we solve problems differently, how can we make lives of people in the distribution industry easier. That got me very excited, and I was lucky to join Amazon Business before the first launch and I’ve been part of our growth since then.”
That growth has been staggering. A few weeks ago, Amazon Business reported that it surpassed $25 billion in annual revenue in 2020, and as general manager, Schindler-Carter can take a lot of the credit for that growth.
One of Schindler-Carter’s most impressive achievements last year, according to her Women in Distribution award nominator Shireen McCleary, was the action she took in the spring when COVID-19 disrupted everything — including how customers were able to get personal protection equipment (PPE).
“With tens of thousands of Amazon Business customers at hospitals, senior living facilities, state and city governments, and federal agencies, Petra saw that her company was uniquely positioned to help manufacturers get PPE into the hands of front-line workers — and so, she led the team at Amazon Business to create COVID-19 Supplies,” McCleary wrote. “Her extraordinary leadership in the distribution industry throughout the past year has provided health care and government workers with innovative solutions to source the supplies they need to fight a global pandemic.”
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