Former Amazon CFO Joy Covey died Wednesday after a bicycle accident on Skyline Blvd. in San Mateo County, Calif. Covey, who worked for Amazon for four years from 1996 to 2000, was 50 years old.

As CFO of Amazon, Covey helped Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos take the company public, and many credit her with the site’s incredible success.

“In the early days of… [Morgan Stanley] helped CFO Joy Covey raise more than $500 million for the company. Joy did this nearly single-handedly for the company in a matter of days, not the more standard weeks. It was an unprecedented deal at the time. It was crucial for the company. It was aggressive and brilliant, just like Joy. I am not sure would have survived through its toddler stage if Joy had not been the right person in the right place at the right time,” said former Morgan Stanley analyst and friend of Covey, Mary Meeker.

Covey was unnamed in initial, local reports of the accident, but her identity has quickly been confirmed. Covey was bicycling downhill on Highway 35 when she was hit by a minivan making a left turn, cutting her off and causing a collision. Covey was pronounced dead on the scene and the accident is currently under investigation. However, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has confirmed that Covey was wearing a helmet at the time and the 22 year-old driver was not driving under the influence.


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“It does not appear that drugs or alcohol was a factor in this collision,” stated the CHP

“It’s a very sad day at Amazon. Joy was a wonderful human being and treasured colleague, and we will miss her very much,” Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Covey, a graduate of Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, currently sat on the Board of Trustees as treasurer of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental group.

“[Covey] encapsulated the heart and soul of NRDC and will be so deeply missed by all the NRDC family. Her adventurous and indomitable spirit was infectious and she constantly challenged us to reaching greater heights. My love and deepest sympathies to her son and everyone who knew, loved and respected her as I did,” NRDC spokesperson Kate Slusark Kiely told Palo Alto Online.

Covey is survived by eight-year-old son, Tyler.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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