Wei Gao (MSIS ’01), alumna of the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and Vice President, Technical Advisor to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has been named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology by the National Diversity Council. The list features executive female leaders in the technology industry who drive change, innovate, and inspire others to succeed while contributing to business growth. The 2019 honorees will be recognized at the 15th Annual Diversity and Leadership Conference on April 11 in Dallas.
Gao was promoted to her VP Technical Advisor role in November 2018. Executives in the position are often referred to as Bezos’ “shadow” because they accompany him to all meetings, according to a report from CNBC.
In her 13-plus years at Amazon, Gao has launched products and run projects in eCommerce, Kindle, and Supply Chain technologies. Before her 2018 promotion, she led the Forecasting and Strategic Planning organization, a team that provides customer-demand forecasts and long-term business outlooks for Amazon’s consumer business worldwide.
Gao’s technical expertise spans artificial intelligence, deep learning, big-data analytics, and cloud computing. She is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, serving as an executive board member of Asians-at-Amazon affinity group. She is also a board member of the Robert Chinn Foundation.