The philosophy behind Jeff Bezos' Amazon success

Business

BBC News 04 July, 2021 - 07:18pm 35 views

Who is the CEO of Amazon?

Andy Jassy is taking the reins from Jeff Bezos as CEO of Amazon. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is stepping down as the company's CEO on Monday, the company's 27th birthday. Barron'sJeff Bezos Steps Down as CEO on Monday. Here’s What It Means for Amazon’s Stock.

A top piece of advice he offers to staff is not to view the two as a strict trade-off.

Instead, he sees his personal and professional pursuits as a "circle" rather than a balancing act.

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos isn't a fan of the phrase "work-life balance."

At an April 2018 event hosted by Insider's parent company, Bezos said new Amazon employees shouldn't view work and life as a balancing act. Instead, Bezos said that it's more productive to view them as two integrated parts.

"It actually is a circle," Bezos said. "It's not a balance."

Bezos said his new hires should stop trying to find "balance" within their professional and personal lives since that implies a strict trade-off between the two. Instead, Bezos envisions a more holistic relationship between work and life outside the office.

"This work-life harmony thing is what I try to teach young employees and actually senior executives at Amazon too," Bezos said. "But especially the people coming in. I get asked about work-life balance all the time. And my view is, that's a debilitating phrase because it implies there's a strict trade-off."

Bezos said he doesn't compartmentalize his career and his personal lives.

"If I am happy at home, I come into the office with tremendous energy," Bezos said. "And if I am happy at work, I come home with tremendous energy."

The billionaire Amazon founder will have to adjust to a new kind of workflow starting July 5, when he steps down from his role as CEO of the e-commerce giant. He will be replaced by AWS CEO Andy Jassy and will direct his focus to other endeavors, like being catapulted into space for 11 minutes on July 20.

Historically, the world's richest man has taken a nontraditional approach to work: He has said he made time for breakfast every morning with his family, doesn't set his alarm before going to bed, schedules surprisingly few meetings, and set aside a few minutes every day to wash his own dishes.

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Amazon's new management principles are a sign of the times for corporates

Yahoo News 04 July, 2021 - 11:49pm

The changes are a sign of corporates publicly adopting progressive values.

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Amazon appears to be reappraising its purpose. In an update on its website , Amazon explained two new statements would be added to its 14-point list of longstanding management principles - to Strive To Be The Earth's Best Employer; and Success And Scale Bring Broad Responsibility.

The exact reason and choice of timing - just a few days before founder and CEO Jeff Bezos hands over the reins to Amazon Web Services boss Andy Jassy - behind the change is unclear, but echoes commitments made by Bezos in his final shareholder letter to make the company a more inclusive and better employer.

The changes follow widespread criticism over Amazon's treatment of in-house staff, and its impact on the environment. Amazon staff have also been calling for the addition of a management principle that directly addresses inclusion for some months.

While Amazon's critics will no doubt continue to feel the company should do more, the update to its core principles reflects a wider trend.

No company, even one as dominant as Amazon, can continue to ignore the interests of both its consumers and employees, many of whom value purpose and ethics when thinking about how they make and where they spend their money.

"Increasingly, employees want to invest their time, energy and skills in an organization that is actively engaged on topics that directly impact their lives and align with their beliefs," said Joe Wiggins, director of communications, at employer reference firm Glassdoor.

"Today's candidates, especially younger job seekers, want to work at companies that take a stand and take action," Wiggins added.

Consumers also increasingly care about purpose and values.

According to research by McKinsey, 40% of US consumers said seeking brands that matched their values mattered to them, while 34% claim they have switched brands for purpose-driven reasons during the coronavirus pandemic. Some 9% of these more directly because of perceptions over how a company treated its staff.

A separate poll by Edelman in 2020, of 22,000 global respondents showed that whether they trusted a brand was the second-highest priority. 52% of US consumers believed that companies actively owe it to their employees to speak out against systemic racism.

"In this day and age, anything that leaves a slightly sour taste in your mouth, and that can come from lots of different responsibility issues, is just a reason for people not to use you," said Giles Gibbons, CEO and cofounder of Good Business, a consultancy.

The extent to which consumers say they'll do versus their actions is hard to say - value and convenience are still ranked as the most likely reason behind why a consumer said they're likely to switch products in both studies.

Nethertheless, companies have a desire to project a clean image.

Amazon's decision is more likely a reaction to what it will believe is a perceived poor reputation in terms of employee welfare rather than simply just a convenient time of transition, says Gibbons. "The role of a principle is to set the direction of travel and then over time review against it. An organization like Amazon wouldn't be saying it if it didn't genuinely mean it."

"We often think that social issues should be addressed by governments through minimum wages, health and safety legislation, taxes etc - but global corporations can be more powerful than some countries, and this is the case for Amazon," Edmans told Insider.

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For over 20 years, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has written an annual letter to shareholders. Earlier this year, he published his last one.

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