After years of jogging around Riverside Park with a cassette player, an idea Don had long imagined was finally possible thanks to the possibility of transmitting digital files over the internet.
Audible debuts the world's first commercially available portable digital audio player, an example of which now rests in the Smithsonian.
Leveraging Amazon's reach and technology innovations has helped millions of readers discover the joys of audiobooks.
Audible introduces Whispersync for Voice, enabling book lovers to switch seamlessly between reading and listening without losing their place. Suddenly readers have what they crave most: more time to enjoy a great story.
Donald Katz is founder and CEO of Audible, Inc. Donald Katz was previously a journalist and author for 20 years, writing five books and serving as contributing editor at Rolling Stone and other publications; his work won a National Magazine Award and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. For his leadership of the company since inception, Katz won the 2004 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for New Jersey. Katz graduated from New York University in 1974, where he studied with novelist Ralph Ellison.
Cynthia Chu joined Audible in 2015 as CFO. She most recently served as CFO for the USA Network division of Comcast NBC Universal, which followed her first divisional CFO appointment overseeing NBC's newly acquired Oxygen Media. Prior to her long career with NBC, Cynthia worked at GE, where she earned a Six Sigma black belt qualification. A native of Hong Kong, Cynthia is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
Anne joined Audible as Chief People Officer in 2016. She most recently served as Head of Human Resources at Bloomberg L.P. Anne spent six years at Bloomberg, during which the global workforce doubled, and where her passion for nurturing talent led to the creation of Bloomberg's Global Leadership Forum. Before Bloomberg, Anne was Managing Director and Chief Diversity officer at Lehman Brothers, with specific focus on the recruitment and retention of women and under-represented groups. Prior to Anne's transition to human capital management, she spent fifteen years with P & L responsibility in fixed income and equity sales at Lehman Brothers and Bankers Trust. Anne is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and is a New Jersey native.
Sanjay joined Audible in 2015 as CIO. He has extensive operating and industry-relevant experience building highly trafficked national consumer brand websites and mobile platforms. Previously, he led diversified senior teams at Priceline before becoming CIO at both Netquote.com and Bankrate, where he oversaw the integration of those companies' complex technology stacks after their merger in 2010. From there, Sanjay became CIO at Seamless.com and then GrubHub, again building world-class tech organizations and subsequently migrating technology platforms after those companies came together in advance of GrubHub's public offering in 2014.
Matt joined Audible in 2009 and has overseen corporate and internal communications and public relations at the company since 2012. His role now includes responsibility for public policy and community affairs as part of an expanded global corporate affairs umbrella. Prior to Audible, Matt held editorial positions at Random House and Scribner and was a columnist for Publishers Weekly and the late Publishing News (UK). He is a graduate of Harvard.
Stas Zakharenko joined Audible as Senior Counsel in 2014 and became Head of Legal in 2016. Prior to Audible, Stas spent seven years with Amazon's legal department supporting its digital and new technologies initiatives, including the Kindle e-readers. For two of those years he was based at Amazon's EU headquarters in Luxembourg supporting launches of the music locker service and AutoRip in the UK, Germany, France and Italy. Before that, Stas spent two years in Florida working as in-house counsel specializing in technology matters. He began his legal career as a corporate law associate with the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Stas is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and received his undergraduate in Music from Stony Brook University.
Beth Anderson has been at Audible since its earliest days and is currently EVP and Publisher. Before joining Audible in 1996, Beth spent 15 years in college text and trade book publishing at Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Beth has served on the board of the Audio Publishers Association since 2000, chairing committees on memberships, research, and its annual conference. She earned a BA from Cornell University and serves on the university's Library Advisory Board and Council.
a. We work ceaselessly to hear the voices of our customers - to listen for them even when they aren't speaking to us directly. Audible inspires our listeners' dreams and feelings, as well as serves their needs. That our customers depend on us is an honor, and we work to ensure our service exceeds their expectations in every way.
b. Millions of people around the world are listening to Audible right now because we work in pursuit of ever-improving measures of our customers' happiness and loyalty. Any change or improvement to our service must be executed with each and every customer's ability to easily understand our intentions in mind.
c. Understanding what we mean to customers and correctly measuring inputs that yield those insights allows the financial outcomes of our business to take care of themselves. Analysis is not an end result but one of the catalysts of original and innovative work.
d. We endeavor to humanize our own voice across all customer connections in a way that reflects the well-composed and brilliantly performed words we deliver to our listeners.
e. We obsessively focus on other key stakeholders as if they are customers too: We serve the writers, actors and other creative professionals who craft the words we deliver, as well as the people who live in the communities where we work. At Audible we prize the capacity to see the world through others' eyes.
a. Nobody asked Audible to invent the first solid state digital audio device between 1994 and 1997. We thrive when we gaze deeply into the future-to what spoken words can be and to the coming technologies and techniques that will define how people listen-so we can continue to invent on behalf of customers before they ask.
b. We embrace ambiguity and we tolerate and demystify complexity. We seek to simplify the end-to-end customer experience in a way that allows our customer to feel the power of the words we deliver before they have to think about it.
c. We value and reward positive disruption of the internal and external status quo.
d. To dream into the future on behalf of our customers and customers to come, we don't fear failure. In fact, we celebrate the glorious failures that have accompanied our successes because of what we can learn from them. Innovations that can change the lives of millions of people begin as planted seeds that require several years of focus - we imagine without fear and we are patient and tenacious as we work to make our ideas real.
a. Leaders who can imagine the possible are also able to synthesize vision in a way that "connects the dots" across strategy, function, and to the details of execution.
b. Listening well requires the ability to crystallize thoughts via well-chosen written and spoken words that can be turned into meaningful action. Audible exists to unleash spoken words that inspire, offer insight, teach, and persuade. The best visions of the possible are intellectual hypotheses made even better when data and research inform them, and the best action plans deploy an economy and clarity of expression that enables others to "dream in color."
c. Moving fast and thoughtfully in missionary pursuit of the well-articulated vision of the possible is the best way to make things happen and exhibit leadership of the highest order.
a. At its best, Audible is an inspiration platform (a movement, a cause), and leaders who stand out operate at the cutting edge of the arts and sciences. We draw inspiration from artistic creativity, from the truths and wisdoms conveyed through the ages, from the most advanced of emergent technologies, and from the sciences focused on the study and calibration of the human condition. We hear the culture's drumbeat and we can audit scientific innovation at the cutting edge.
b. As enlightening and enjoyable as it may be, leaders at Audible do not just listen, read, and stare at large and small screens for fun. We are vigilant professional observers, and our research laboratories include the sound, look, feel and experience of wherever we are.
a. We respect and celebrate the glories of the human spectrum. We embrace and work to protect inherent civil rights based on people's gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, ethnicity, religious beliefs, birthplace, socioeconomic station, disabilities, and age.
b. We work to improve the lives of those without privilege in the cities and countries in which we operate, because Audible seeks to exemplify what a company can mean beyond what it does. We believe in giving people a chance, and we work to make this so, particularly in the urban core. Our focus on education innovation and urban economic and social renaissance is about advancing equality, and this mission should inform and inspire our days.
c. We work shoulder to shoulder like the missionary agents of change we are. "Allofus" share the heartand soul of a start-up even as we grow large. This requires passionate advocacy in debate and a culture of extremely high expectations, but this does not mean leaders allow ego or personal politics to darken decisions or discourse (we used to call this the no a-hole rule). We intertwine deep rigor and exacting high standards with kindness and joy, and at Audible we remember that people will invariably forget things you say, but they will rarely forget how you make them feel.
d. To create the deepest comradery, trust, and a more meaningful experience of the work that defines our days, we let others really get to know who we are as individuals. Leaders understand this and teach it through exemplary action. We work backwards from big visions, we value shared honesty and we celebrate the quality of the collegial effort to achieve our goals.