Jeffrey Preston Bezos (born January 12, 1964) is an American technology and retail entrepreneur, investor, electrical engineer, computer scientist, and philanthropist, best known as the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Amazon.com, the world's largest online shopping retailer. The company began as an Internet merchant of books and expanded to a wide variety of products and services, most recently video and audio streaming. Amazon.com is currently the world's largest Internet sales company on the World Wide Web, as well as the world's largest provider of cloud infrastructure services, which is available through its Amazon Web Services arm. In 2013, Bezos purchased The Washington Post newspaper.
- We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient. If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too..
- That kind of divine discontent comes from observing customers and noticing that things can always be better.
- Jeff Bezos explains why Amazon doesn’t really care about its competitors 17 September, 2013.
- We’re building what’s called a private cloud for them [the C.I.A.], … because they don’t want to be on the public cloud.
- You gotta earn your keep in this world. When you invent something new, if customers come to the party, it’s disruptive to the old way.
- If you absolutely can't tolerate critics, then don't do anything new or interesting.
- What Amazon's Jeff Bezos thinks about Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker (BoingBoing) (dubbed "The Bezos Principle" by Walt Mossberg) June 2016
- Communication is a sign of dysfunction. It means people aren’t working together in a close, organic way. We should be trying to figure out ways for teams to communicate less with each other, not more.
- The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
- Your margin is my opportunity.
- When it comes to space, I see it as my job to build infrastructure the hard way — I'm using my resources to put in place heavy-lifting infrastructure so the next generation of people can have a dynamic, entrepreneurial explosion into space. … I want thousands of entrepreneurs doing amazing things in space, and to do that we need to dramatically lower the cost of access to space.
- If you have a really good idea, stick to it, but be flexible on how you get there. Be stubborn on your vision but flexible on the details... People who are right a lot change their mind... They have the same data set that they had at the beginning, but they wake up, and they re-analyze things all the time, and they come to a new conclusion, and then they change their mind.
- As quoted in Is Amazon Unstoppable? by Charles Duhigg, The New Yorker (10 October 2019)
Quotes about Bezos
- Beasley pointed toward Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the two richest people in the world, who could each individually help those in these situations with a small chunk of their overall change. Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has a net worth of $151 billion, according to Forbes, with his wealth increasing by more than 500% from January 2020 to March this year. Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Bezos has a net worth of $177 billion. And their net worth is still growing. The week of October 11, Musk's net wealth increased by $12.7 billion due to Tesla stock gains, according to Forbes, and in just one day, on October 15, Bezos' generated $5.6 billion from Amazon stock. When news broke that Musk may have beat Bezos for the richest person title, he tweeted at Bezos a silver second place medal emoji. Meanwhile, Beasley told CNN that millions of others are in a "heartbreaking" situation as they're "knocking on famine's door."
- The governments are tapped out. This is why and this is when ... the billionaires need to step up now on a one-time basis, $6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them. It's not complicated... I'm not asking them to do this every day, every week, every year... We have a one-time crisis: a perfect storm of conflict, climate change and COVID. ...Just help me with them one time... The world's in trouble and you're telling me you can't give me .36% of your net worth increase to help the world in trouble, in times like this?... What if it was your daughter starving to death? What if it was your family starving to death? Wake up, smell the coffee, and help... My god, people are dying out there... We have a vaccine for this. It's called money, food.
- The executive director of the World Food Program is calling for the world’s billionaires to step up and help his organization fight hunger... David Beasley said he was supportive of capitalism but added that capitalism without a heart is a disaster. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic and the related government-mandated shutdowns to slow the spread of the virus caused over 100 million people to be on the brink of starvation worldwide... “I need an additional $6 billion this year to reach the 41 million ... that are knocking on famine’s door,” Beasley continued... He specifically mentioned Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and said that he needed just 10% of the $64 billion Bezos’s wealth grew by last year to fund the food program
- We’ve now reached stratospheric inequality. Billionaires burning into space, away from a world of pandemic, climate change and starvation. 11 people are likely now dying of hunger each minute while Bezos prepares for an 11-minute personal space flight. This is human folly, not human achievement. The ultra-rich are being propped up by unfair tax systems and pitiful labor protections. US billionaires got around $1.8 trillion richer since the beginning of the pandemic and nine new billionaires were created by Big Pharma’s monopoly on the COVID-19 vaccines. Bezos pays next to no US income tax but can spend $7.5 billion on his own aerospace adventure. Bezos' fortune has almost doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic. He could afford to pay for everyone on Earth to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and still be richer than he was when the pandemic began.
- Billionaires blast into space as billions suffer on planet Earth, Deepak Xavier, Oxfam International, (19 July 2021)
- Jeff Bezos is getting rich not because of the profits of Amazon, but because of the increase of the share price. You’ve heard that he made what, $60 billion since the beginning of the pandemic? That’s not because of the profits of Amazon... The actual profits are nothing like that. It’s maybe one billion altogether, but he made 60! From the share price.
- Bezos and Musk now own more wealth than the bottom 40%. Meanwhile, we're looking at more hunger in America than at any time in decades...If he was with us this morning, I would ask him the following question ... Mr. Bezos, you are worth $182 billion — that's a B. One hundred eighty-two billion dollars, you're the wealthiest person in the world. Why are you doing everything in your power to stop your workers in Bessemer, Alabama, from joining a union?... Jeff Bezos has become $77 billion richer during this horrific pandemic, while denying hundreds of thousands of workers who work at Amazon paid sick leave.
- Bernie Sanders rips into Jeff Bezos: 'You are worth $182 billion ... why are you doing everything in your power to stop your workers' from unionizing?, Annabelle Williams, Business Insider (17 Mar 2021)
- Bernie Sanders & I introduced the Bezos Act a month ago asking billion dollar companies to pay for their employees’ public benefits. We urged Mr. Bezos to raise wages to $15. The beltway economists crucified us. But Mr. Bezos listened. Today thousands of workers are better off.
- Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, whose corporation Amazon paid no federal taxes last year, alone added $34.6 billion to his personal wealth since the pandemic started.
- Chris Hedges in The Treason of the Ruling Class. Scheerpost, (2 June 2020)
- Jeff Bezos is filthy rich. The richest man in the world has a net worth of $170 billion. His wealth becomes all the more astonishing when you break it down. Bezos earns $2500 a second. That works out at $150,000 a minute. Every hour, he becomes a millionaire nine times over. If Jeff Bezos were a country, he would be the 54th wealthiest country in the world. His title as the world’s richest person means he’s revered as a great capitalist, entrepreneurial success story...
Rather than helping to solve world hunger, the fortune of people like Bezos is the very reason millions go hungry. Extreme wealth inequality means a few live in unbelievable splendour, while millions live in dire squalor. This is a shocking state of affairs, yet our society celebrates it...
A consumer-centric society is a world of extremes, where a few have too much, and too many have nothing at all. Imagine if Bezos started questioning a system of extremes that makes him so wealthy at the expense of so many. He could go down in history as the man that catalysed a transformation of society. His wealth buys him the power to exert extraordinary influence. And yet, the appalling working conditions in Amazon hint at the fact Bezos has one goal in mind, to become richer.
- Could the Richest Man in the World End World Hunger? Paul Abela, Medium, (24 Jul 2020)
- Activists have also noted that Bezos is much less philanthropic than many of his peers. Among America’s top five billionaires, he is the only one who has not signed the Giving Pledge—a program, created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, that encourages the world’s wealthiest citizens to give away at least half their wealth.
- Is Amazon Unstoppable? by Charles Duhigg, The New Yorker (10 October 2019)
- In January, Jeff Bezos announced that he would donate $33 million to help 1000 people go to college. This week, shortly after Amazon posted a $2 billion quarterly profit to end 2017, his company announced hundreds of layoffs at its headquarters. Meanwhile the 20 finalist cities for Amazon HQ2 are working feverishly to put together the most lavish package of taxpayer-funded subsidies. It’s great that Mr. Bezos wants to help 1,000 Dreamers – immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children – to attend college. But just imagine how many people he could help if Amazon paid taxes, wasn’t focused obsessively on replacing workers with automation, didn’t employ hundreds of thousands of temps who are paid low wages and receive no benefits, and declined to engage in reality TV-style “contests” to find out which state and local governments will succumb to desperation and give his very, very profitable company billions of dollars that might otherwise be spent on things like… education, for one.
- Ed Burmila in Jeff Bezos, Amazon and Why ‘Charity’ Is the Wrong Solution, Rolling Stone (14 February 2018)
- Think migrant farmworkers have it bad? Talk to anyone who works in an Amazon fulfillment center, where every step an employee takes is tracked electronically by management; fail to account for a five-minute period and you’re punished. No textile mill ever dehumanized its workers more thoroughly. Yet when was the last time you heard a liberal criticize working conditions at Amazon? You won’t. Amazon is the future. Jeff Bezos supported Hillary for president. So did virtually all the most successful CEOs. Amazingly, liberals support them back. The distinction between successful businessman and progressive political activist gets blurrier by the day.
- Tucker Carlson, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (2018)
- It is as if Bezos charted the company’s growth by first drawing a map of antitrust laws, and then devising routes to smoothly bypass them.
- Lina Khan, Yale Law Journal, (2017) Quoted in 'Is Amazon Unstoppable?' by Charles Duhigg, The New Yorker (10 October 2019)
- The three most prominent US newspapers haven’t run a critical investigative piece on Jeff Bezos’ company Amazon in almost two years, a FAIR survey finds. A review of 190 articles from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Bezos-owned Washington Post over the past year paints a picture of almost uniformly uncritical–ofttimes boosterish–coverage. None of the articles were investigative exposes, 6 percent leaned negative, 54 percent were straight reporting or neutral in tone, and 40 percent were positive, mostly with a fawning or even press release–like tone.
- Adam Johnson in World’s Richest Person Escapes Scrutiny From His Own Paper–and Its Rivals, FAIR, (28 July 2017)
- Bezos is a serial innovator: with Amazon, he changed the way the retail industry works; and now he’s applying that same spark of creativity to media, with his ownership of the Washington Post and the founding of Amazon Studios. Still, for me it is his zeal for helping humanity return to the moon, settle Mars and reach destinations beyond that is the most thrilling.
- Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the Moon, discussing the inclusion of Bezos in Time magazine's list of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World 2017." (April 20, 2017)
Quotes about Jeff Bezos
- In my view, it is totally absurd for the taxpayers of this country to have to subsidize people like Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the wealthiest person in the world, worth over $150 billion. He should be paying all his employees a living wage, and a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage would be a step in the right direction toward making that happen.
- Bernie Sanders, Where We Go from Here (2018)
- What J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller were to the Age of Robber Barons, Microsoft's Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, as well as digital moguls like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos are to the contemporary age of the rule of the 1%. Then as now, the super-rich used governments to write laws and rules to allow them to accumulate unlimited wealth; then as now, creating monopolies by enclosing the commons and killing competition is the strategy for becoming the 1%.
- Vandana Shiva Oneness vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom (2018)
- Jeff Bezos has more words for the Queen than the workers who have died in his warehouses
- Nina Turner on Twitter (2022)