Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, embarks on a new stage in his career after having created, from a modest online bookstore, one of the most important companies on the planet: Amazon. At 57 years old, He leaves his position as CEO to Andy Jassy this Monday to pursue other projects, beginning with a trip to space on July 20.
However, the tycoon will maintain a key role in the company he founded 27 years ago and will remain as CEO of its board of directors.
While it has been celebrated for the many innovations that completely changed entire economic sectors, it has also been disowned for certain business practices with a tendency to get rid of the competition or by the treatment of employees.
Whether it’s book sales, IT, or home delivery, “Bezos is a leader in driving change,” says Darrell West of the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation.
Jeff Bezos, the man who gave e-commerce a key boost. Reuters photo
“It has promoted numerous services that people have already incorporated, such as shopping online, ordering anything and having it delivered the next day,” he highlights.
Launched from Bezos’s garage, Amazon today has a value of more than 1.7 trillion dollars in the stock market and its income was 386,000 million in 2020. It is a tentacular group, ranging from online commerce to cloud computing to artificial intelligence and film production.
Bezos “has the instinct to figure out what is going to work,” estimates Roger Kay, an analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.
The company has outperformed its rivals in deciding during the early years “Reinvest all profits in your growth,” recalls Kay. A strategy that may have perplexed investors but now “seems completely logical,” he highlights.
For Bob O’Donnell of Technalysis Research, Bezos “was not the first or the only one” in the wave of online commerce “but he understood it and has worked to improve it.”
The Amazon boss has mainly “understood the need to build the infrastructure,” with its vast network of trucks, warehouses or planes, O’Donnell points out. “Many other companies did not spend money on this thankless behind-the-scenes job.”
He also made the fate of his company his own: even after having transferred part of his shares in Amazon to his ex-wife after their divorce, Bezos currently has about $ 200 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
On July 20, he will get on the New Shepard with his brother and the historic Wally Funk. Photo EFE
He leaves the daily management of his company to spend more time dedicated to his other projects, such as the Blue Origin company -which will make its first space tourism flight on July 20 with Bezos on board. The businessman also owns the Washington Post and has said he wants to spend time and money fighting climate change.
It goes away at a time when Amazon, which employs more than 800,000 people in the United States after seeing its activity take off even more during the pandemic, faces numerous criticisms from worker advocates and regulators.
Amazon highlights that it offers a minimum wage of $ 15 an hour and other advantages, but critics regularly denounce the obsession with efficiency even at the risk of treating workers like machines.
In its last annual letter to shareholders in April, and After learning of an attempt to unionize in a group warehouse in Alabama, Bezos recognized that the company had to improve for its employees and promised that Amazon would become “the best employer on Earth.”
But unsettled by the growing influence of tech giants in huge sectors of the economy, regulators are studying measures that could lead to partially dismantling Amazon.
But even if the group were to split into multiple entities, each would “thrive in its own market,” he predicts. “I can easily imagine a scenario where the sum of those entities is shown to be greater than the unified set. Shareholders should not suffer“.
With information from AFP.