The founder and largest private shareholder of the Corporation Amazon Jeff Bezos stuck on the first line of the rating of the richest people in the world by Forbes (as of fall 2019 — $114 billion). Under his control — almost 40% of all e-Commerce of the United States, more than 40% of sales of paper books and about a third of the market for care; the data storage Amazon pay tens of billions of dollars, Unilever, Netflix, CIA, and other corporations and government agencies; one is the Amazon earns as much as today, the whole business of IBM; Bezos — the second after Walmart, the employer of the country. Such astounding facts — a lot. But even the unique status of the “Leviathan” does not interfere with the Bezos remain a mystery for the media and the public. Last week to examine the purposes, intentions, and ambitions of 55-year-old billionaire simultaneously tried two authoritative American magazine The Atlantic and The New Yorker. Forbes reviewed and selected seventeen outstanding facts about the owner of Amazon.
Bezos is a real sifi fan of the cult series “Star trek” (Star Trek, “star trek”). Your online store before opting for Amazon.com he wanted to call MakeItSo.com. Make it so (“Complete!”) one of the catchphrase of a character on “star trek”, captain Jean-Luc Picard. The image of Picard, created by renowned actor Patrick Stewart, so sunk into the soul billionaire that today it is difficult to escape the feeling that Bezos is a copy of the TV-hero — the same shiny bald head, the same robust torso. Friend Bezos in an interview with The Atlantic suggested that a rigid fitness regime, the entrepreneur confesses in the hope of one day, like the captain of the enterprise, to go to space travel. Other evidence of the interests of the billionaire series — the name of the holding company Zefram (in honor of Zefram of Cochrane — a brilliant scientist from the universe of “Star trek”), a cameo in the film “star trek: Infinity,” and even the dog’s name Kamala (a name of a character in one of the episodes of the series, “a perfect” companion of captain Picard).
Bezos calls his “most important work” is not the leadership of Amazon and not the preservation of the independent editorial policy of The Washington Post, and the development of aerospace startup Blue Origin. This company aims to fulfill a youthful dream of a billionaire is to help mankind to expand your living space through the creation of colonies in space. Back in 1982 in high school graduation speech, Bezos talked about the mission the inhabitants of the Earth and since then has not lost its enthusiasm. He is a follower of the ideas of physics from Princeton’s Gerard O’neill, who in 1976 in the book “High frontier” formulated the concept of “relocation” of the population of the planet into space and its failure risks (epidemics and famine due to overpopulation of the Earth). “We have to go beyond Earth to save it” — this mantra Bezos followed his teacher repeats regularly. And do not spend money: every year he sells shares of Amazon for $1 billion to Finance the development of Blue Origin engines, launch vehicles, space ships etc.
How purposeful up the founder of Amazon, the key role played by his mother, Jackie Bezos. An unsuccessful early marriage with the biological father Ted Jorgensen forced a native of Albuquerque to give up all the mental strength she has invested in the son. Jackie every day Jeff drove 60 miles from home to school for gifted children in Houston, and later insisted that the school officials took the boy in high school, despite the high competition and the queue of applicants. This maximalism, the founder of Amazon has carried through his life in Princeton he professed the visionary ideas of theoretical physics to wall street — he worked in the most ambitious hedge Fund of the 1990s, the D. E. Shaw, which was hired exclusively for the most talented graduates of the most prestigious universities. Intellectual elitism Bezos moved in their own business. Fifth employee of Amazon Nicholas Stocks in an interview with Wired, recalled that each employee had to raise the bar of collective corporate mind.
In recent years, Bezos a lot of work on public image and tries to react to the discontent of subordinates. But it was not always so: in the early days of Amazon entrepreneur exhausting employees its maximalism. Questions like “are You lazy or just incompetent?” and “Why are you ruining my life?” was a familiar leitmotif of the meetings of those years, recalled former subordinates billionaire in the book of brad stone’s the Everything Store (the”Store only”). One of the former employees of Amazon in an interview with The Atlantic, described his own feelings: “If you go to see Betcom, you are preparing like tomorrow is the end of the world. Say to yourself: “so, I was preparing for three weeks. I talked to every fucking person who might know something about the questions she would ask me Jeff“. And then come and Bezos was asked the one question that you have not provided”. Over time, the entrepreneur, however, weakened the authoritarian grip and delegated “bulldog” functions of special managers.
Bezos Amazon instills conservative management principles. The former head of the international Department of the company’s online merchandising Kristi Coulter, for example, told The Atlantic about “the Great oil scandal” which rocked the Internet retailer a decade ago. Bezos then learned about the presence in the mailings Amazon advertising lubricants (not necessarily intimate purpose) and was furious. “They were so blinkered that were convinced of the inappropriateness of such advertising, even if it was about, conventionally, the hair,” says Coulter. The conservatism Bezos is expressed in its old-fashioned understanding of the term diversity: senior managers managers Amazon of 17 (S-Team from the senior team) no African Americans and only one woman. “Imposed diversity for [Bezos and his team] means the artificial lowering of the standards of management. This is a classic type of libertarian thinking. They see Amazon as a meritocracy based on objective data,” says Coulter.
Bezos always wanted Amazon to withhold from porazenia in bureaucracy. He even invented the principle of command “two-pizza”: the number of dishes should ideally satisfy the hunger of a group of workers who unite to solve specific problems. In parallel with the eating of pizzas they can play in motivating video games that are available in the offices of the company, but not to forget about responsibility: what has the team, the stronger will be the demand for the result. Any plan employees must be able to explain and describe in six pages is the gold standard for corporate “narrative”. Only after the approval of “shestistrunniki” the team gets the green light for the implementation of the initiative at this stage subordinates Bezos praised the boss for the opportunity to innovate without unnecessary administrative obstacles (if state 600 000 people!). Quality initiatives the billionaire provides a strong personnel policy: for example, only in recent years, Amazon has hired more than 150 economists with PhDs — more than any other technogiant.
Before purchasing Bezoom Newspapers The Washington Post (WP) in 2012 on the political views of a billionaire was not known virtually nothing. This stumped WP publisher Donald Graham when he was looking for a buyer for the influential democratic mediareport America. Doubt helped to dispel including the legendary investor Warren Buffett — he’s a certified master Amazon as “the best CEO in the United States,” after which Graham has strongly suggested to him to become an investor. Bezos after several months of deliberation posted for the asset of $100 million (small in the background, at least his personal investments in Uber — thanks to the recent IPO of the service to call a taxi Bezos earned $400 million). But at the same time corrected my own reputation — at the time Amazon was regularly criticized by publishers as “the Strangler of competition.” Billionaire even wrote a Manifesto “on Amazon.love”, in which he called on his subordinates to save the company from falling into the list of “Leviathan” has a bad image of Walmart, Goldman Sachs and Microsoft. And there is little that could affect this salvation so much as support WP.
The image of the defender of civil society Bezos manages to neatly combine with the role of major contractor of the U.S. intelligence and other authorities. In 2013, the CIA paid $600 million division Amazon Web Services — a real gold mine business Empire of billionaire for storage of their data. Bezos, whose grandfather had built for the Pentagon missile defense system and participated in the development of nuclear weapons, did not see in this contract are no contradictions with the hold WP. Furthermore, later Amazon has become a platform monopoly for purchase by government agencies of goods ranging from paperclips to gadgets (and such purchases, the U.S. government annually spend $50 billion). Paradoxically, this “Patriotic” status of the company combines with down-to-earth fiscal policy: over the past year, Amazon has not paid any center of the Federal taxes through the use of foreign offshore havens and other gimmicks. It turns out that the government contracts only encourages maneuvers Bezos.
“I’m not that guy, which women lose their head,” modest Bezos in an interview with Playboy in 1999. After 20 years the owner — a regular hero gossip and important Hollywood figure with whom consider it an honor to get in one shot all the movie stars in the world. “Guilt” around the launch of Amazon Prime, and studios, Amazon Studios, in which Amazon moved away from its usual prudent spending patterns (on the order of, for example, a new film adaptation of “Lord of the rings” with a fantastic budget of $250 million, which, according to The Atlantic, Bezos personally cope subordinates every day). Together with the forced publicity associated with the awards and ceremonies, the billionaire, the expression on his ex-wife, Mackenzie Bezos, has become a “very social person”. In a Hollywood environment he met his new fiancee, ex — wife of agent Patrick Whitsell Lauren Sanchez. “Bezos really never miss a chance to be seen, to open the envelope with the name of the winner,” he described the transformation of the entrepreneur one of Hollywood figures.
Another favorite reason for criticism of Bezos, his reluctance to join the movement Giving Pledge bill gates and Warren Buffett. Combines the Giving Pledge billionaires who are ready to sacrifice 50% of the estate to charity. Sources The New Yorker told the story: a few days later after 2017, the boss of Amazon for the first time topped the list of Forbes, in the office the call came from gates. He asked for a meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday. The schedule both days, Bezos was still “Windows”, but he said: “Negotiate on Thursday.” The entrepreneur is at once symbolically showed on whose terms will the conversation. And still remains free from the “curse of the gift”. Interestingly, the former wife of billionaire Mackenzie, under the terms of the divorce received a quarter share of Bezos at Amazon, joined the Giving Pledge immediately after became a member of the Forbes list. Bezos, according to estimates of the New Yorker, donated to charity less than 3% of its total state. Excluding spending on visionary projects like Blue Origin.
The rampant growth of the Amazon — only since 2015, the state increased three times — inevitably substitutes Bezos under a hail of criticism. If during the reign of Barack Obama against the backdrop of salvation, The Washington Post, the billionaire was known as a supporter of the President, with the election of Donald trump has become a sponsor of one of the messengers fake news and the enemy of a competitive economy. The current head of state is teasing entrepreneur “Jeff bozo” (in English. bozo — “idiot”, “clown”). True, the former White house official told The Atlantic that “if trump knew what number by the number of people in the administration to contact Jeff Bezos, he would be mad with rage”. The President is not only politicians who are hostile to the Amazon: his opponents-Democrats and the “left” of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and centrist Joe Biden — blamed the company for tax evasion in the United States, and the Minister of Finance Steven Mnuchin accused of “destruction of American retail.” As in the case of Facebook, in the Senate have heard proposals for compulsory “sawing” of the Corporation into separate businesses.
“Merciless” (eng. — relentless) — one of the favorite words of Bezos, according to multiple sources in its environment. He regularly mentions this term in the letters to the shareholders and is guided by it as a principle of doing business. According to The New Yorker, the billionaire even considered Relentless as the name of the company address relentless.com still owned by Amazon and sends visitors to the main page of the online store. “Ruthless” appears in the text of the Scripture of the Amazon — the so-called “principles of leadership” (Leadership Principles). Any Manager of the company at heart knows these fourteen rules: “to satisfy consumers”, “invent and simplify”, “recruit and develop the best” etc. the Principles are not empty words: pragmatic Bezos relies on invented the arch. For example, spelled out in the document “moderation” means that the office of the Amazon will never be frills — the most simple and practical furniture with a simple set of free products in the kitchen (usually coffee and bananas).
The former Advisor to the Bezos Ian fried (at the beginning of career, he has worked even in Russia) described The New Yorker as effectively innovate in Amazon. Bezos taught him not to be afraid of the ideology of the first day: waking up in the morning, to start all over again and not consider it shameful to change the decision. The first major Frida project has been the development of “ebook reader” Kindle: just a couple of years, the team under his command was the whole chain of the invention of the gadget, dismissed dozens of failed prototypes and in 2007 presented a device, which is one of the bestsellers of Amazon and the electronic industry in recent decades. Impressed with Bezos instructed the Manager to create a smartphone. With a team of more than 1,000 employees and a budget of more than $100 million freed in 2014 brought to mind Amazon Fire Phone — but the train has already left, the company failed to impose competition to Apple. But Bezos encouraged a subordinate to dismiss a failure and turned his attention to perspectives of the built-in smartphone voice assistant. Over time this has grown another super group of the Corporation — the “smart” column of the Echo and its “inhabitant” Alexa.
Popular opinion of Amazon employees, according to The New Yorker, is: the personality of Bezos has always defined the identity of the company. Business since the late 1990s have developed steadily, firmly stood on the “sacred” principles of leadership and drew on himself much less attention than the brainchild of the flamboyant entrepreneurs, such as Elon Musk or Travis Kalanick. Bezos personified this evolution: family-oriented, a family man, a rare guest at social events and just a modest man. But in recent years, along with the sharp growth of business scale Amazon, changed the company’s founder. According to the tabloid National Enquirer, Bezos was hiding from his wife Mackenzie is a married to Lauren Sanchez and only after the newspaper asked for comment about his affair, she filed for divorce. Add to that the image of the brutal macho (the most vivid illustration of the meme “1998: sell books / 2017: sell anything you want”) — and it becomes clear the concerns of insiders regarding the fact that the business “went astray”, and together with the founder “in the line of fire” turned out to be hundreds of thousands of his subordinates.
Friends and colleagues of Bezos write off many of the features of his character on the libertarian worldview. “Jeff donated money to fight for the legalization of gay marriage and at the same time spend a lot on advice on minimizing the tax burden, because these are his basic views — the government should not climb into our bedrooms and pockets,” explained The New Yorker close to the billionaire, a source familiar with him for several decades. By contradiction, if to take into account this version also no longer see parallel investment in The Washington Post and the curtailment of pension plans of the magazine’s staff. “It suffers from a lack of empathy and prefer not to consider themselves bound to others,” — said the interlocutor in an environment of Bezos. This affects not only pensions, but also on working conditions: a number of former Amazon employees complained to The New Yorker is overly restrictive operating mode in the distribution centers and the reluctance of the Corporation to cover the costs associated with chronic injuries from physical activity.
On the background of the “polecenia” American politicians and sounding increasingly frequent calls to break the monopoly of Amazon Jeff Bezos, according to The New Yorker, also became radicalized: he opposes any artificial slowing down of the growth of the business and is willing to spend a lot on lobbying for their own positions in the political establishment. Recently with the filing of the founder of the company does not neglect almost no public “impact”: for example, in response to a remark from the Congressman’s Alexandria ocasio of Cortes on “starvation” wages to Amazon head Amazon of communications Jay Carney on Twitter advised her “to focus on raising the Federal minimum wage level, and not to talk nonsense” (Bezos is proud to be the first of the “leviathans” achieve a minimum level of payment to $15 per hour). At the same time, the sources of The New Yorker inclined to think that the Empire of Bezos to a lesser extent than Facebook, under attack: the company employs too many Americans and too much influence on the lives of voters, the politicians decided to go against her openly.
Although the sources of The Atlantic and The New Yorker in one voice say about the changes in the non-public nature of Bezos, founder of Amazon today tries to lead a solitary life. He never gives interviews and refuses his favorite social events. The reason is the echo of the scandal, in which the billionaire has a heap of affair with Lauren Sanchez. Now he’s a regular hero of the tabloids, and it is explicit not the hypostasis in which the entrepreneur feels comfortable. For a long time Bezos suspected that the hype around him may be politically motivated in retaliation for their support of The Washington Post. Consultant billionaire security Gavin de Becker even suspected in stirring up the scandal, the government of Saudi Arabia, who sharpen the tooth of the founder of the Amazon for the attention of WP to investigate the murder of newspaper columnist Jamal Khashoggi. I do not exclude the version with the “petranovskaya” forces. But, according to The Wall Street Journal, the conspiracy theory did not work this time and everything was simple — the correspondence of Bezos and Sanchez $200 000 leaked to reporters Lauren’s brother. By the way, a supporter of trump.
Photo By JD Lasica from Pleasanton, CA, US — Jeff Bezos, CC BY 2.0
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