Amazon loved Doug Herrington’s ideas before they ever hired him. In 2005 the online retailing giant bought a failed startup called Webvan, where Herrington was an executive. Webvan had taken an ambitious stab at selling groceries online, but had expanded too quickly and collapsed. Along the way, the company pioneered such innovations as a warehouse that used robots instead of a conveyor belt to carry goods from one place to another.

At Amazon, as senior vice president of North American Retail, Herrington had another chance to try some of those ideas, this time using lessons learned from Webvan’s failure. There he launched Amazon Fresh (Amazon’s grocery delivery service) Prime Pantry, Amazon Mom, Baby Registry, Subscribe and Save, and other innovative programs. He is in charge of numerous divisions at Amazon including consumables, fashion, business, consumer electronics, physical media, retail systems, and the recently acquired Whole Foods grocery store chain.

Herrington, a 1988 graduate of Princeton, will speak at Princeton University’s Keller Center on Thursday, November 30, at 4:30 p.m. in McCormick Hall Room 101. For more information, visit or e-mail

In his talk, Herrington will share “Ten Rules of Innovating at Amazon.”

Before joining Amazon, he was CEO of KeepMedia, an online content retailer. He also spent 10 years as a partner at Booz Allen Hamilton in its consumer practice.

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