09.20.133:45 PM ET

Amazon’s ‘Wonder Woman’ Exec Dies

Joy Covey, called one of world’s most powerful women.

Joy Covey went from high-school dropout to a leader at one of the world’s top companies. Covey,’s first CFO, died yesterday at age 50 when her bike struck a van in San Mateo County, Calif. Covey, dubbed a “Wonder Woman exec,” worked at Amazon from 1996 to 2000, steering the company’s expansion from bookselling and spearheading Amazon’s initial public offering in 1997. She also co-wrote the company’s first annual shareholder letter, now considered an industry standard. Before working at Amazon, she made her way through college in two years and became a certified public accountant. Covey, whom Fortune named one of the world’s most powerful women, retired in 2000 to pursue personal interests. Most recently, she served as treasurer for the Natural Resources Defense Council. At Amazon, she said, “my hair was always on fire with whatever I was doing.”