The American billionaire Jeff Bezos leaves the management of Amazon

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It’s official, Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, leaves the management of Amazon Monday after having built, from a modest online bookstore, one of the most powerful companies on the planet. The billionaire will devote himself to other projects, starting with a trip to space on July 20.

At 57, businessman Jeff Bezos will leave his position as general manager of Amazon to his lieutenant Andy Jassy on Monday, July 5, to devote himself to other projects, starting with a trip to space, July 20. He will retain a key role in the company he founded in the United States 27 years ago, remaining executive chairman of its board.

Launched in the garage of Jeff Bezos, who did the packages himself, Amazon is now worth more than $ 1,700 billion on the stock market and in 2020 generated a turnover of $ 386 billion. It’s a sprawling group, from e-commerce and cloud computing to groceries, artificial intelligence and film production.

An embodiment of innovation

Whether it’s selling books, cloud computing or home delivery, “Bezos has spurred many services people now take for granted, such as shopping. online, order something and have it delivered the next day, ”says Darrell West of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution.

The company has supplanted its rivals by choosing the early years to “reinvest all profits in growth,” analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates. A strategy which has sometimes left investors perplexed but which now “appears completely logical”, he underlines.

The boss of Amazon has been able to supplant his competitors in the e-commerce niche, in particular by understanding “the need to build infrastructure”, whether it is his vast network of warehouses or his fleet of trucks, Bob O’Donnell of Technalysis Research. “A lot of other companies didn’t want to spend the money on this thankless behind-the-scenes job.”

His company’s fortune has also been his own: even after having sold part of his shares in Amazon to his ex-wife after his divorce, Jeff Bezos is currently worth around $ 200 billion according to Forbes magazine.

He is giving up the day-to-day management of his company to spend more time on other projects like his other company Blue Origin, which will make its first space tourism flight on July 20 with Jeff Bezos on board. The businessman also owns the Washington Post newspaper and has said he wants to devote time and money to the fight against climate change.

Victim of his own success?

If he has been praised for the many innovations which have sometimes shaken up entire economic sectors, he has also been vilified for certain business practices that tend to crush competition or for the treatment of his employees.

Jeff Bezos is leaving as Amazon, which employs more than 800,000 people in the United States after seeing its business soar during the pandemic, faces much criticism from employee advocates or regulators.

Amazon highlights the fact that the company offers a minimum hourly wage of $ 15 and various benefits, but critics regularly denounce the obsession with efficiency at the risk of treating employees like machines.

In his last annual letter to shareholders in April, and after an unsuccessful attempt to organize at a warehouse of his group in Alabama, Jeff Bezos acknowledged that the group had to do better for its employees and promised that Amazon would become ” the best employer on Earth “.

Worried about the growing stranglehold of a few tech giants over entire sections of the economy, regulators are considering measures to partially dismantle Amazon. For Roger Kay, analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, Amazon could thus become “a victim of its own success”.

With AFP

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