Michael Arena is the Vice President of Talent Management & Development at Amazon, where he is responsible for driving the global talent strategy and learning activities across AWS.
Prior to joining Amazon, Arena was the Chief Talent Officer for General Motors Corporation where he was responsible for enterprise talent management, cultural transformation, leadership development, talent acquisition, and people analytics. While at GM he launched GM2020, a grassroots initiative designed to enable employees to positively disrupt the way they work, which was highlighted in Fast Company and Fortune Magazine. This initiative and others are highlighted in his best-selling book, Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations.
His research on adaptation and networks won the 2017 Walker Prize from People + Strategy and has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Harvard Business Review, and Sloan Management Review. Prior to GM, Arena spent two years as a visiting scientist with MIT’s Media Lab studying network theory. He also served as Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at Bank of America, where he co-designed and launched the Center for Future Banking, an initiative created to positively disrupt consumer banking.
Arena currently teaches in Penn’s Masters in Organizational Dynamics program and acts as a design thinking coach within the Stanford d.school. Dr. Arena earned his Ph.D. in Organizational Dynamics from the Union Institute and University.