Jeff Wilke, the former CEO of Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer business, has taken on a new role as the chairman of Re:Build Manufacturing. The company aims to demonstrate that the United States can be a powerful manufacturing force in the 21st century. Re:Build was founded in 2020 by Wilke and his classmate Miles Arnone, with the goal of addressing the economic and security risks exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has already grown to nearly a thousand employees and has acquired 11 businesses with engineering expertise in various sectors. Re:Build is focused on developing design and engineering capabilities for “just-in-time manufacturing” of products like airplane wings and medical devices. Wilke believes that rebuilding the country’s manufacturing sector is crucial for its economy and national security.
Wilke’s inspiration for Re:Build comes from his childhood in Pittsburgh and witnessing the decline of the city’s steel industry. He wanted to create jobs and wealth through manufacturing. He enrolled in MIT’s LGO program to gain the necessary skills and knowledge. Re:Build has become a partner company for LGO, offering internships and job opportunities for students. Wilke values the combination of leadership and technical expertise that LGO students bring.
Wilke brought his manufacturing mindset to his work at Amazon, viewing the company’s fulfillment centers as factories. He used his LGO training to optimize processes and improve customer order fulfillment. Wilke played a key role in developing Amazon Prime, which offers fast delivery and has millions of subscribers worldwide. Amazon has become a dominant force in online retail, with more than half of all U.S. online purchases made through the platform.
In conclusion, Jeff Wilke’s new venture, Re:Build Manufacturing, aims to revitalize the manufacturing sector in the United States. Wilke’s background in manufacturing and operations, along with his experience at Amazon, has prepared him for this ambitious endeavor. Re:Build is already making strides in the industry and has become a valuable partner for LGO students.