Innovation Inc: How the 'Amazon effect' has reached the Washington Post

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesAmazon founder Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post in 2013.

The “Amazon effect” is no longer segmented to the retail industry.

The disruption the e-commerce giant caused in the sector is now reflective of the change happening across industries, with many companies using Amazon as a model for how to pursue digital transformation.

Washington Post’s chief information officer Shailesh Prakash is in the fortunate position to get to work closely with Jeff Bezos — both at the news outlet the Amazon founder bought in 2013, as well as space exploration startup Blue Origin.

Prakash gave Business Insider an exclusive look at the work underway at the Post to bring the 142-year-old news institution into the digital age — from robots writing news stories to running simulated crashes to make sure the website can handle a major influx of traffic.

But it’s not all IT changes. Bezos also initiated a change in metrics to determine bonuses and compensation among the leadership team. Now, execs are judged on speed, as well as less tangible qualities, like a willingness to take risks and a commitment to following through on decisions.

“These sound like cliches,” said Prakash. “But these are the things that, when you put them in action and you truly try to live with them, it begins to spread in the company.”

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