Andy Jassy, ​​Amazon’s new CEO, joins the ring

Well, it seems, that’s the problem.

In early 2010, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, made a secret pilgrimage to several newspaper offices around the country to talk candidly about his business. In one such meeting at New York Times With a group of editors, I sat across from Jobs as he talked about the iPad and his competitors. Oddly enough, Jobs said he was worried about Google making its way into Apple, but he wasn’t worried about Microsoft. When I asked why, Jobs said, “When [Bill] Gates resigned, he put a salesman in charge of the company, and the only way to destroy the company was to have a salesperson run it. What he should do is leave someone in charge of the product.” The salesman Jobs was referring to was Steve Ballmer, a boisterous Pierrot who would eventually miss opportunity after opportunity for Microsoft: smartphones, tablets, social media. (It wasn’t until Microsoft replaced Ballmer with Satya Nadella, a “product guy,” in 2014, that Microsoft began to thrive, growing into a $2.2 trillion company.)

Choosing a successor can be one of the hardest decisions a CEO makes, especially for a business still run by the founder. The right choice can mean incredible growth and a legacy for history; One mistake, a company almost destroyed. For example, Jack Welch, who ran GE from 1981 to 2001, is considered one of the greatest CEOs of his generation, boosting the company’s market capitalization from $14 billion to $410 billion. at the time of his retirement. The tenure of his successor, Jeff Immelt, brought GE to the brink of collapse, with shares falling 30% while the S&P 500 index rose 124%. (Immelt famously had an extra private jet that followed his main private jet when traveling in case of delays, even as GE laid off thousands of workers.) When Jobs stepped down as CEO of the company. Apple in 2011, he did not pursue his own advice because he could not find a product guy who is also a business guy. So instead, he chose to appoint Tim Cook (who Jobs once described as “not a product guy”) to run the company and Jony Ive to design the products. According to an advisor to Jobs at the time, Jobs knew that Cook, an executive genius, would be able to grow Apple with its product line into a global giant. Indeed, Jobs was right (again); Apple is currently worth $2.55 trillion and is the largest company on the planet.

For Bezos, the decision was different.

Amazon could say it’s likely been in serious trouble over the past few years as Donald Trump found a thread to agree with his radical critics in government — Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — that Amazon is too big and needs to be put in check. Ocasio-Cortez accused Bezos of paying his workers “starving wages”, Sanders brought down Amazon and voiced the need to “look at the power and influence Amazon has”, and Trump, while in office. responsibility, has railed against Bezos, Amazon, its power, and tweeted that “they pay little or no taxes to state and local governments.” Last year, Bezos was sued before the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Laws, where it became essentially five hours of lawmakers berating Bezos and the heads of Alphabet. , Facebook and Apple for their anti-competitive monopolistic practices. And that’s just the beginning. The Federal Trade Commission is currently investigating Amazon’s business practices around decompetition in Jassy’s retail and AWS division. The company also faces antitrust requests from attorneys general in New York and California, and the Justice Department is considering a broad antitrust review of Big Tech. That’s only in the United States. India, the UK and Germany, among others, are probing Amazon over antitrust issues. In June, a bipartisan bill proposed in the House went into effect that would force Amazon to split or close private label businesses in which the company makes its own branded products. .

The culmination of all of this for Amazon is clearly yet to come, with investigations, bills and hearings only heating up. But back in 2018, when he was launching boosters into his lunar-level mesozoic crisis, according to a person close to the company who knew Bezos and Jassy, ​​Bezos foresaw the next decade. follow Amazon’s like and know that no. It’s just that he wanted to pursue other passions, but most importantly, he was no longer the right person to be the face of the company. Even Bezos is self-aware that the richest man on the planet, who owns homes, planes and yachts worth more than a billion dollars, whose laughter evokes Dr. Evil, will not be the best witness to bring before Congress, arguing that Amazon really isn’t an antitrust and monopoly threat and that it doesn’t pay its employees “starvation wages.”

There’s really only one other person in the Amazon, a true blue-skinned Amazonian who is not only capable of running an entire empire but is a nice, low-risk guy, just like you and me.

Andy Jassy.

Jassy has been formulating how he will respond to these issues before Congress. His replies to me on these topics were installed and clear, media trained and ready for the critical time. “In our retail business, if you look at the size of the business compared to the global retail market, we have about 1% of the total global business,” Jassy told me when I asked about the retail business. How do you plan to respond to Congress? “It’s a big business and Walmart is a bigger retailer than Amazon, but we’re still only about 1% of the global retail market.” Are these stats enough to stop a battalion of government lawyers from trying to disrupt Amazon? Probably not, but it’s long been rumored in the business world that Amazon really wants to break up. “AWS could be one of the 10 biggest businesses on the planet if it were spun off from Amazon,” one investor told me. “If the government breaks them up, they’ll just make more money – the government thinks it’s wise for them to threaten to do this, but that’s what Amazon wants.”

While Amazon may be fine with parting, one thing it certainly doesn’t want is to form an alliance. The company has a history of harassing employees, who even discuss unions in its fulfillment centers, including, reportedly, spying on organizers. Many of these problems happened earlier this year in Alabama, where, after a long and very public struggle, warehouse workers finally voted against union — following the Active protests from the company, including mandatory “information sessions” and anti-union text message campaigns. Andy Jassy, ​​Amazon’s new CEO, joins the ring


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