CHRIS PEYRE, ’04 (MBA) SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND FINANCE
For centuries, the word “Amazon” conjured images of a journey filled with challenge and mystery. For those early explorers whose curiosity surpassed their fears, the Amazon became a conquest. Today, the word “Amazon” conjures a different, if equally enticing image. Like its namesake, Amazon.com is a force of nature. At the helm of the e-commerce innovator are some of the most creative and fearless minds in business. And one of those minds belongs to USD School of Business MBA grad Chris Peyre, head of Amazon’s worldwide supply chain for Prime Now.
Peyre’s adventure began in the classrooms of USD, but he didn’t intend to study supply chain management. Nor did the French-born executive think he’d remain in San Diego beyond a one-year internship abroad. And yet, USD’s distinctive instructional philosophy opened him up to a new way of thinking.
“They give you the tools to be very curious about whatever you are tackling,” he says. “It’s more about learning to be adaptable and flexible using knowledge as a base rather than just pouring information into your brain.”
Inspired by his experience, Peyre returned to San Diego to attain his MBA from USD. The more he explored, the more he was encouraged to become curious. He found the instructors to be particularly open to discussion and conversation. On many nights, Peyre would engage them well into the evening after the 10 pm instruction ended. He drank in their expertise.
It was during these sessions that Peyre became fascinated with supply chain management. “From a leveraging stand point, you can save a company a lot of money when you understand the impact of the supply chain,” he says. “My classes and professors at USD helped guide me down this path and I just really loved trying to solve problems.”
The curriculum took him outside the lecture hall, too. While touring San Diego companies, such as Raytheon and WD40, to see first-hand how their supply chain worked, Peyre witnessed the intricacies of the challenges that faced all retailers and manufacturers. After receiving his masters in 2004, he put his theories into practice at Sony through the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.
Just a year later, he received job offers from four companies. One stood out. It was a 10-year-old American online storefront that was rapidly expanding across Europe. Peyre visited the fulfillment center and was blown away by the “very ordained, deliberate and efficient” facility. “There was a sense of pride you could just feel,” he says. “As I was touring with the general manager of the plant, he stopped and picked up a piece of trash from the floor. There was no task beneath anyone. To me, this was great.” Impressed, he accepted their offer to become Senior Manager EU Supply Chain Planning with no idea of what was on the horizon for his new employer, Amazon.
Peyre has been with the company ever since, rising to lead strategic supply chain management for the entire company. In 2015, he was given another challenge: bring on-demand delivery of consumer goods to life. Amazon Prime Now was born with Peyre leading the charge to meet consumers’ needs when and where they live.
Today, as head of worldwide supply chain, Amazon Prime Now, Peyre navigates this uncharted territory from his office in Los Angeles. He’s even frequented the USD campus as a guest speaker where he challenges students to “learn and be curious.” “Problems are fascinating if you keep an open mind,” he says. “A lot of young people don’t know how to show curiosity, but it’s a skill that can be learned, and the USD School of Business taught me the value of pursuing curiosity. Once you have it, it stays with you throughout your life.”
Find out more about our MBA/MS Supply Chain dual degree here.