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Regan Zeebuyth ’01 helps shape culture and solve puzzles at Amazon

Regan Zeebuyth ’01 helps shape culture and solve puzzles at Amazon

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Regan Zeebuyth stands in front of the Amazon Spheres in downtown Seattle

Image: As the senior manager for corporate affairs business operations, Regan Zeebuyth ’01 leads the business operations team for worldwide communications at Amazon. (Photo by Silong Chhun)

May 31, 2022
By Zach Powers ’10
PLU Marketing & Communications

Regan Zeebuyth ’01 has always been curious. Curious about words, about ideas, and about systems. He’s always trusted that curiosity to guide him. Even when, as a second-year Lute, it led him to rethink plans to follow his parents into medicine and toward a major in communication. Even when it nudged him out of a burgeoning early career in public relations and into the world of corporate internal communications.

Zeebuyth’s curiosity eventually led him to join the communications team at Starbucks, where he served in six different roles over a 10-year span, starting as a project manager and departing as a director of communications. It’s also why he now loves working at Amazon, where, as the senior manager for corporate affairs business operations, he leads the business operations team for worldwide communications at Amazon — and has served in three positions (so far) in the past five years.

I have long been fascinated with how you shape the culture of an organization in order to help with the brand delivery of that company,” Zeebuyth says. How does an employee experience the brand for themselves in a way that’s relevant, such that they can naturally turn around and deliver what that brand is all about?”

“Those are the sort of abstract ideas I think about that connect with a lot of day-to-day decisions we make that have a downstream impact on the culture of the company,” Zeebuyth continues. “We think about how we can stay true to what the vision for our culture is. If we are deviating from that, we question if it’s the right direction to be deviating? I like the big, abstract, more ambiguous stuff about what it is I do.”

A logo for PLU's Lute Powered story series. Lute Powered is hand written in black below a hand-drawn half sun

For Zeebuyth, the ambiguity and challenges that can be part of working at an organization as large as Amazon often lead to the creative puzzle-solving process he enjoys. He prides himself on being “someone who can help clear a path,” but it’s thinking about the long game that excites him the most.

Certainly there’s a tactical side to communication, how you craft messaging, and why you’re crafting messaging the way that you’re crafting it,” he explains. “But I also love thinking through the complexity of what we do. In addition to the near-term decisions we make right now around communication, also thinking about the potential long-term or ripple effects of that.”

It all comes back to curiosity.  For Zeebuyth, staying curious is about the future just as much as the present. 

“Looking at my career, I would like to be one of those leaders who have multiple disciplines within their remit,” he says. “I think the more that I can learn, move around, and understand how different parts of how a communication organization functions, it benefits me long term.”

“I also just find it fun,” he adds with a big smile and shrug. “I can get a little bit bored, just doing the same thing day in and day out so it’s nice to move around and switch things up.

Lute Powered is a new series highlighting PLU alumni at some of the most well-known organizations in the Puget Sound region. Regan Zeebuyth ’01 is the first of three Lutes being featured from Amazon. We previously profiled three alumni working at MultiCare Health System