The Internet has lured yet another button-down corporate executive to bring order to the frenzied world of online retailing.
Joseph Galli, a former executive at Black & Decker Corp. in Towson, Md., was named chief operating officer and president of Amazon.com Inc., the nation's largest online bookseller, the company said yesterday.
Galli's hiring marks the second time an Internet company has turned to more mainstream management. Three years ago, America Online Inc. hired Robert Pittman, former chief at MTV, to be its president.
Galli, who worked 19 years for Black & Decker, adds "bandwidth to the company's senior rank," Amazon.com spokesman Paul Capelli said.
Analysts said the announcement is consistent with Amazon.com's evolution from a small entrepreneurial business to a large institution.
"They need help managing that cultural shift," said David Trossman, an analyst at Legg Mason Wood Walker in Maryland.
Amazon.com executives said they tapped Galli for his innovative managerial style and his understanding of the importance of building a brand.
"Joe is a star with great customer instincts and true operational excellence," said Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon.com. "We look forward to having his passion, leadership and motivational skills."
Galli is the former president of Black & Decker's Worldwide Power Tools and Accessories unit. He left the company last April.
At Black & Decker, Galli played a critical role in overseeing financial operations, said Jeff Middleswat, an analyst at David W. Tice and Associates. Galli managed a division with operations in 100 countries, and 14,000 employees -- nearly half of the company's 29,300 employees.
In 1989, when Black & Decker went into deep financial trouble, Galli's power tools division was the key revenue generator for the company. The division accounted for nearly 60 percent of the company's revenues, and about half of the operating income, analysts said.
Amazon.com, founded in July 1995, offers products that include books, compact discs and videocassettes. While Galli does not have a specific background in online publishing, Capelli said Amazon.com liked his work at Black & Decker.
Shares of Amazon.com fell $3.43 3/4 yesterday to close at $110.18 3/4 on the New York Stock Exchange.