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Amazon After Bezos

Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos 27 years ago. He will resign from his position as CEO in two days. Andy Jassy, his successor, will take over as CEO of the e-commerce behemoth on July 5.

That the economy and society of the United States have changed dramatically since Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 is obvious. How we shop, communicate, what we watch, and the technology we use to do all of this are all vastly different now than they were then. As Bezos has done, few other business leaders have had as significant an impact on the economy as he has. Henry Ford, Sam Walton, and Steve Jobs come to mind. Having that kind of influence comes at a price and brings up numerous pertinent issues to consider.

For example, Andrew wrote about how Bezos has “an authentic, legitimate claim on having changed the way we live” back in 2017, on the 20th anniversary of Amazon’s initial public offering (IPO). He went on to say:

As an author, I’m supposed to hate Mr. Bezos. After all, he has pressured publishers, cut their margins and practically put old-school bookstores out of business. As if to rub it in, he’s now introducing bricks-and-mortar Amazon bookstores.

But to take that view would be to misunderstand what innovation looks like. It upends industries — witness the current carnage in the retail industry, which has been outmoded by Amazon and all the companies trying to copy it.

“Amazon is not happening to book selling,” Mr. Bezos explained, defending his role in a 2013 interview with Charlie Rose. “The future is happening to book selling.”

After Bezos, what’s the future for Amazon?The founder’s grand vision for Amazon, which was for it to become “the everything store,” has been realised. It’s not just that Bezos is taking a step back anymore: Reuters’ Karen Weise reports that there has been an unusually high turnover in Amazon’s executive ranks over the past 18 months, according to the Times. Additionally, all of this change is occurring as the powers that seek to rein in Amazon are becoming more powerful. For example,

Taking risks is harder for new leaders. One of the most frequently cited reasons for Bezos’ success has been his willingness to try new things and fail. His ability to see ten steps ahead of where Amazon was at any given time was remarkable. His successor is taking over at a time when taking those steps is becoming increasingly difficult.

The push to overhaul the global tax system gains momentum.In a plan that included measures such as a 15 percent minimum corporate tax rate, more than 130 countries, including China, India, and Russia, signed on to the dotted line. Now comes the difficult task of ironing out the details and enlisting the cooperation of tax havens such as Ireland and Caribbean countries.


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