Rest in Peace, Joy Covey

Photo by Bob Williams, from Joy Covey’s Facebook profile
Photo by Bob Williams, from Joy Covey’s Facebook profile

I just learned that Joy Covey has passed away due to a bicycle accident.

As I wrote in a previous blog post, I almost worked for Jeff Bezos, the Amazon.com CEO–and, that all happened because of Joy’s generosity during a job search in my 20s:

The Amazon.com CFO was Joy Covey.  I think she’s awesome.  Well, I met Joy in 1990, at an investment bank.  She was a new Associate from Harvard Business School and I was a new Analyst from college.  One night, at 11 pm, she came by my cubicle, distressed.  She had an assignment due the next day, and she wasn’t sure how to work Lotus 1-2-3 (I know, I know, I’m old).  I was dead tired and about to go home.  Instead, I decided to help her.  I didn’t know her well, but she looked so distraught. Eight years later, I saw her mentioned in the HBS Alumni Bulletin and that she was at Amazon.com.  I wrote her an email, telling her I hoped she remembered me.  Thankfully, she did, and that kicked off the dialogue.

When I interviewed at Amazon.com, she was incredibly patient with my many, many questions. I’ll never forget that.  She took a genuine interest in me and what I wanted to do next.

Over the years, Joy and I kept in touch episodically via email.  I mostly followed her updates on Facebook, which is how I heard about her death. I was always impressed with her incredible intellect, passion for life, concern for the environment, and a sense of style.

An unconventional thinker. Highly principled. Gutsy, having dropped out of high school at 15 and moved out of her parents’ home shortly thereafter. Inspiring.

Here’s a great article on her, which I just read. I didn’t realize she had an IQ of 173–but, I’m not surprised.

I miss you, Joy Covey. Peace and comfort to you and your family.

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