fbpx

EXPLORE OUR

Spotlight Series: AJ Wilhoit, Chief Product Officer, project44

AJ Wilhoit

ARTICLE SUMMARY

AJ Wilhoit, Chief Product Officer at project44, brings over two decades of supply chain technology expertise, including a pivotal role at Amazon, where she pioneered groundbreaking consumer delivery experiences. We sit down with AJ to chat about her career, women in tech and much more.

With 20+ years of supply chain technology experience, including 13 years spent building supply chain solutions at Amazon, AJ is passionate about delivering an exceptional customer experience in her new role as Chief Product Officer at project44.

Prior to joining project44, Wilhoit served as EVP of Enterprise Product & Technology at Flexport, and before that spent over 13 years at Amazon. During her time at Amazon, AJ played a pivotal role in creating numerous innovative consumer delivery experiences, including real-time map tracking, ETA prediction and delivery photos. She also built Amazon’s first one-hour delivery service, Prime Now – an achievement that changed consumer shopping expectations worldwide.

What are you most proud of in your career, so far? 

I’m proud to say that I never taken the easy path. I’ve always been motivated to learn something new, even if it required additional time or energy investment. This has resulted in learning a variety of skills and picking up diverse knowledge along the way.

For example, I started in freight forwarding and now have taken on the role of Chief Product Officer in a supply chain technology platform. I always knew I wanted to be in tech, so the squiggly career path I’ve taken has certainly been a success for me.

Thinking of a specific project or product, the launch of prime now is one of my proudest achievements. We only took 111 days end-to-end, from the initial idea to launching the one-hour delivery window. This had genuine impact, and changed consumer expectations of what is possible.

AJ Wilhoit

What does an average workday look like for you? 

The constant throughout my day is collaboration. Whether that’s discussing new ideas for products or UX improvements and the potential related results with our internal team, or spending time with partners and customers to understand how they’re currently reaping value from our products, and the challenges they’re facing. A key question I ask in these customer meetings is – “what do you wish our product did?”

Another key part of my daily role is understanding product development bottlenecks and how to overcome them. This requires diving deep into financial, usability, and results metrics, to understand what’s working and resolve any blocks the team are facing. 

However, my days do include lots of things other than work! I try to protect my availability at the end of the day to spend time with family. I dedicate my free time to my kids, sports or social events, and unwinding through cooking or time with friends. Plus, working out whenever possible. It’s so important to carve out time for these other things that are important to you as an individual, to ensure you feel refreshed and fulfilled when it’s time to get back to work.

Are there any specific skills or traits that you notice companies look for when you’re searching for roles in your field? 

People look for a combination of big thinkers, who innovate in new ways and inspire those around them, and someone that will deliver. One without the other is not good; success really comes when you can do both.

My advice for striking this balance is to think about what will move the needle, where is the opportunity to have impact? Then focus your energy on delivering there (and stick around long enough to deliver those results in the end).

Inspiring those around you is a real skill to be valued. Companies want people who inspire others to be their best selves too; a force multiplier who take others along on their upward trajectory and empowers their team to learn and grow along with them.

What advice would you give other women wanting to reach their career goals in technology? 

Always take a seat at the table. it’s not just about identifying where there are opportunities, you then need to really take them. This comes with confidence, but the biggest disservice you can do to your professional self is to fade into the background. Even if you’re an introvert, remind yourself that it’s your job to call out risks, share ideas, and have an informed opinion.

Feel the fear and do it anyway. In tech, the role or subjects of discussion can often feel scary. But you are almost always more qualified than you think you are (and men less qualified wouldn’t hesitate to take the job).

What’s your vision for your role at project44? What are you most excited about implementing?

A highlight is going to be building upon project44’s SaaS platform, Movement, to help solve the world’s most complex supply chain challenges. It’s a truly transformative platform that already goes beyond standard shipment visibility to provide reliable insights that save customers time and money, while helping companies achieve sustainability goals.

More generally, I’m excited for the opportunity to develop brand new innovations too, powered by AI, machine learning and automation technologies and project44’s multimodal dataset, which is the most comprehensive in the world. In my previous roles, I’ve seen the challenges faced by shippers, carriers and all other stakeholders in the global supply chain first hand. So, the prospect of building solutions that truly solve these issues feels very full circle for me.

CAREER BUILDING RESOURCES
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL
RELATED CONTENT
RELATED CATEGORIES
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY

RELATED ARTICLES

We're shining a spotlight on the fantastic Pooja Garg, Managing Principal at Synopsys Software Integrity Group. Pooja chats to us about her role models, what...
Ildiko Almasi Simsic is a social development specialist, author of What is a Social Impact? and Founder of E&S solutions which has developed the world’s...
Explore the inspiring journey of Linh Lam, CIO at Jamf, as she shares pivotal moments and strategies that led to her leadership role. Discover the...
Meet Amelia Lowe, Vice President of Operations at SquareTrade, an Allstate Company and hear all aobut her journey.