I'm coming back to Colorado

Before anyone ever cared where I would work, I was a kid from suburban Colorado. It's where I walked. It's where I ran. It's where I cried. It's where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I'm their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Colorado is bigger than Restaurant food delivery. I didn't realize that five years ago. I do now.

Back in 2012, when I left for Seattle I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. Seattle for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past five years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better manager and a better man. I learned from an organization and people that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Restaurants as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing today.

I went to Seattle because of Amazon. I believed we could do something magical if I came to Seattle. And that's exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what we built with those guys and gals on the Restaurants team. I've talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are family for life.

I'm doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don't want anyone thinking: He and management didn't get along. That's absolutely not true.

I'm not having a press conference or a party (I am having several parties). After this week, it's time to get to work.

I always believed that I'd return to Colorado and finish my career there. I just didn't know when. But I have my boy, my dogs and my wife, Run. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other companies, but I wasn't going to leave Seattle for anywhere except Colorado. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy. I'm lucky that Amazon now has roles for me in Colorado, and I can continue my career with Amazon in Colorado.

To make the move I needed the support of my wife, and my son, who can be very tough.

I'm not promising HQ2. I know how hard that is to deliver. My patience will get tested. I know that. I'm going into a situation with a young team and new managers. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn't know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I'm excited to lead some of these talented young guys and gals.

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above software. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Denver, but I think it can mean more where I'm from. I want kids in suburban Colorado to realize that there's no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

In Colorado, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I'm ready to accept the challenge. I'm coming home.

Sunday, September 24 2017