WOODSIDE -- A bicyclist killed in a Wednesday collision with a van in rural San Mateo County was Joy Covey, a groundbreaking tech executive who was chief financial officer of online retailer Amazon.com at the time of its initial public offering.
California Highway Patrol officer Arturo Montiel confirmed Thursday that Joy Dianne Covey, 50, of Woodside, was the bicyclist killed on a rural stretch of road in San Mateo County Wednesday afternoon. The Natural Resources Defense Council, for which Covey served as treasurer and a director, confirmed Thursday that the former high-powered tech executive had died.
Covey was biking on Skyline Boulevard at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday when she collided with a van that turned in front of her, Montiel said.
"The vehicle turned left directly in front of the bicycle, which was traveling downhill," Montiel said.
The driver, a 22-year-old Fremont man, stayed at the scene and cooperated; he has not been cited in the incident, but Montiel said the collision is still under investigation, though drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor.
Covey was chief financial officer at Amazon from December 1996 to September 1999, and remained at the company until April 2000, according to Bloomberg's executive profile, and was named the 28th most powerful woman in business in 1999 by Fortune Magazine. Since leaving Amazon, she has been an independent investor and consultant and served on several boards, including JetBlue Airways and the NRDC. In a 2002 interview with the Harvard Law Bulletin, Covey -- who received a law degree and MBA from the prestigious university in 1989 -- recounted dropping out of San Mateo High School at the age of 15 and working as a grocery clerk before wrapping up a degree at Fresno State in two-and-a-half years.
After leaving Amazon, Covey focused on environmental causes, establishing the Beagle Foundation and working with the NRDC.
Staff writer Joshua Melvin contributed to this report. Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/jowens510.
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