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Jeff Bezos

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Jeffrey Preston "Jeff" Bezos is an American business magnate and investor. He is a technology entrepreneur who has played a key role in the growth of e-commerce as the founder and CEO of, an online merchant of books and later of a wide variety of products. Under his guidance, became the largest retailer on the World Wide Web and a top model for Internet sales. In 2013, Bezos purchased The Washington Post newspaper.


Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to a teenage mother, Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen, and his biological father, Ted Jorgensen. Bezos's parents were married less than a year, and when Bezos was four years old his mother married his step-father Mike Bezos, a Cuban immigrant.
As a child, Jeff Bezos showed an early interest in how things work, turning his parents' garage into a laboratory and rigging electrical contraptions around his house. As a teenager, his family moved to Miami where he developed a love for computers and excelled in school, becoming the valedictorian of his class. While in high school, he attended the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida, receiving a Silver Knight Award in 1982. In high school, he also started his first business, the Dream Institute, an educational summer camp for fourth, fifth and sixth graders.
Bezos pursued his interest in computers at Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in electrical engineering and computer science. While at Princeton, he was elected to the honor societies Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He also served as the President of the Princeton chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. After graduation, he found work at several firms on Wall Street including Fitel, Bankers Trust, and the investment firm D.E. Shaw where he met his wife Mackenzie and was named the youngest vice president in 1990. While his career in finance was extremely lucrative, Bezos chose to make a risky move into the nascent world of e-commerce. He quit his job in 1994, moved to Seattle and targeted the untapped potential of the Internet market by opening an online bookstore.

Business Career
Jeff founded in 1994 after making a cross-country drive from New York to Seattle, writing up the Amazon business plan on the way. He initially set up the company in his garage. He had left his "well-paying job" at a New York City hedge fund when he "learned about the rapid growth in Internet use", which coincided with a "then-new U.S. Supreme Court ruling[that] online retailers [would not] have to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence"; he had headed to Washington because its relatively small population meant fewer of his future customers would have to pay sales tax.
Blue Origin
In 2000, Bezos founded Blue Origin, a human spaceflight startup company, partially as a result of his fascination with space travel, including an early interest in developing "space hotels, amusement parks, colonies and small cities for 2 million or 3 million people orbiting the Earth."
In a 2011 interview, Bezos indicated that he founded the space company to help enable "anybody to go into space" and stated that the company was committed to decreasing the cost and increasing the safety of spaceflight.
In 2013, Bezos is reportedly discussing business opportunities and strategies with Richard Branson, multibillionaire founder of Virgin Group and Chairman of Virgin Galactic.
The Washington Post
On August 5, 2013, Bezos announced his purchase of The Washington Post for $250 million in cash. The sale is personal to Bezos. will not be involved. "This is uncharted terrain," he told the newspaper, "and it will require experimentation


He was named Time magazine's Person of the Year in 1999.
In 2008, he was selected by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best leaders.
Bezos was awarded an honorary doctorate in Science and Technology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008.
In 2011, The Economist gave Bezos and Gregg Zehr an Innovation Award for the Amazon Kindle.[36]
In 2012, Bezos was named Businessperson of The Year by Fortune.[37]
He is also a member of the Bilderberg Group and attended the Swiss 2011 Bilderberg conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
He is a member of the Executive Committee of The Business Council for 2011 and 2012.[39]
As of July 2014, according to Forbes's The World's Billionaires list, Bezos is listed as the 17th wealthiest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $32.3 billion. He was ranked the second best CEO in the world by Harvard Business Review, after Steve Jobs of Apple.
He was named World's Worst Boss by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), at their World Congress, in May 2014. In making the award Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC, said "Jeff Bezos represents the inhumanity of employers who are promoting the American corporate model...” [40]
An expedition funded by Jeff Bezos recovered two powerful Saturn V first-stage F-1 rocket engines from the Atlantic Ocean. They were positively identified as belonging to the Apollo 11mission's S-1C stage in July 2013.

Recent Projects

In early December 2013, Bezos made headlines when he revealed a new, experimental initiative by Amazon, called "Amazon Prime Air," using drones—remote-controlled machines that can perform an array of human tasks—to provide delivery services to customers. According to Bezos, these drones are able to carry items weighing up to 5 pounds, and are capable of traveling within a 10-mile distance of the company's distribution center. He also stated that Prime Air could become a reality within as little as four or five years.

Personality Traits

According to Nick Hanauer (an early investor in Amazon) and "others who know him", Bezos is described as a libertarian. In July 2012, Bezos and his wife personally donated $2.5 million to pass a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington. According to, a web site that documents political contributions made by "the powerful, rich, and famous" since 1977 (and donations higher than $200), Bezos has donated $16,000 to United States Democrats, $2,000 to United States Republicans, and $55,000 to special interests as of September 6, 2012.
Analytical decision making
With decisions he deems to be fact-based, Bezos will make an extraordinary effort to study the numbers rather than rely on his team's best instincts and judgments. Amazon conducted a test to see whether it was worthwhile to advertise the brand on television. It picked two markets, Portland and Minneapolis, which blended together to approximate the customer base for the entire country. Then it did no national advertising for 16 months while showing ads only in the two target cities. That was an unusual move, since such tests, which aren't often done by anyone, rarely last for more than three months. "We were unbelievably fixated on it," Bezos says. While the ads did lift Amazon's sales somewhat, Bezos figured it wasn't enough to justify the costs, and instead he decided to put the money into offering lower prices. "That was a long, expensive test," he says, "but we were really determined to understand this for our company once and for all.
Type A personality
He might be the most ambitious man in the world. Conquering the internet, reinventing the book trade and becoming one of the world's richest men would be enough for most, but his long term plan has always been something even grander: to establish a permanent human colony in space. His mother still has a copy of a speech he made at school declaring his ambition to build a fleet of habitable orbiting space stations and turn the planet into a vast nature reserve. Thus far, he has established Blue Origin, a company that plans to make private space travel more widely available.
High Risk Taking
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has the most important traits of innovators:
A willingness to fail. Without a willingness to fail, you cannot innovate because most innovations won’t work. Bezos noted two types of innovation: incremental innovation and clean sheet, big innovation. At Amazon, Bezos said 70 percent of the value the company has created for customers is from daily incremental innovation. That means making every process a little bit better, like finding defects and eliminating them. But for the big innovation, you have to be willing to fail.
Going along with that thought, Bezos said innovators must also be willing to be misunderstood. It’s a “profoundly powerful tool,” said Bezos, and a philosophy that Amazon is built off.
Bezos said that anytime you’re doing something new and are criticized, you must figure out if those critics have validity.
“Use the critics as a mirror and ask if they are right,” he said. “If they are right, then you change. If you think you don’t agree, then you should be stubborn on your vision. Part of being an inventor is that you have to have stubborn enough visions that many will think are wrong.”
High Conscientiousness
Hyper-intelligent, ultra-driven, and obsessed with detail, Bezos expects everyone around him to be the same. It’s partly because he demands such excellence out of everyone around him, and he’s always the smartest guy in the room. He’s always pushing people to rise to his level. He really wants people to think big—that’s a frequent phrase around Amazon. When people aren’t exhibiting that We’re-going-to-conquer-the-world mentality, he gets frustrated. Amazon staff are said to live in fear of his outbursts Stone relays a record of his finest putdowns. These include, "Why are you wasting my life?", "I'm sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?" and "Are you lazy or just incompetent?"
However that does not mean there is no confrontation between Bezos and his sub-ordinates. Quite the opposite, Bezos has built the whole Amazon culture around an interesting concept he calls a rebellion against “social cohesion,” something the founder truly despises.
Open to new experiences
Jeff does two things better than anyone else. One is that he tries to find the best truth at the time. That may sound obvious, but while a lot of people know what the truth is, they don’t engage their thinking about how the truth may change. Second, Jeff refuses to accept the conventional wisdom about the way things are typically done. He thinks about reinventing everything—even small things. For instance, when Amazon introduced the new Kindle Fire tablets. Ordinarily when tech companies do this, they hold a big press conference. Instead, Jeff brought about two dozen reporters in to see him in small groups. He did all the product demos himself. Everyone left feeling like they had a special session with this dynamic CEO, and Amazon received great press coverage. It’s a small example of how he tries to reinvent how things are done.
Jeff Bezos always wants to take everyone’s opinon on things and is always eager to have a healthy discussion or arguments related to new innovations. Bezos is a compassionate person who can quickly radically transform into an abrasive executive that instills fear and respect in his employees. has transformed itself from a book-seller into a store that rivals Wal-Mart in size, Apple with its devices and IBM as a provider of Internet and cloud based services. Bezos manages to run it all while still reading customers’ emails. The chief executive has a public email addres:, and personally reads feedback from customers. And when something is truly wrong, the consequences can be tough on the responsible employees. Jeff would forward the complaint email adding a simple question mark that would have managers and engineers sweat at just the sight of it.
Jeff Bezos does not like and encourage people to be highly agreeable with everything and anything. Bezos can't stand "social cohesion," the cloying tendency of people who like to agree with each other and find consensus comfortable. Research suggests that the best entrepreneurs are super disagreeable. That love of debate - where people are forced to advocate their perspectives - isingrained in Amazon's culture. One of the core values at Amazon is
“Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.”
Emotional stability
Jeff Bezos has high self confidence as can be seen in the way he forays into new ventures and take risks that most people would not think of. He says “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the thing that I might regret is not trying”

Leadership Style
Jeff Bezos’ leadership of Amazon can be examined using the Skills approach. Northouse (2013) describes leadership skills as the ability to use one’s knowledge and competencies to accomplish a set of goals or objectives and these leadership skills can be acquired or that leaders can be trained to develop them. Bezos developed a knowledge or understanding for the needs of customers and with this acquired knowledge he was able to transform Amazon to focus on these needs of the customers.
Jeff Bezos’ success at Amazon can be explained using Katz’s Three Skills Model of leadership. In Katz’s Three Skills Model there are three basic skills important in leadership which are technical skill, human skill, and conceptual skill (PSU, L. 4, p. 5).
Technical skill is knowledge about and proficiency in a specific type of work or activity, such that would include competencies in a specialized area, analytical ability and the ability to use appropriate tools and techniques (Northouse, 2013). Bezos demonstrate how to use the appropriate tools and techniques to succeed.
His techniques focus on the long term, “I always tell people if we have a good quarter it’s because of the work we did three, four, and five years ago. It’s not because we did a good job this quarter” explains Bezos in an interview (Newsweek, 2009). Bezos techniques also include, “We start with the customer and we work backward. We learn whatever skills we need to service the customer. We build whatever technology we need to service the customer.”
Another skill in the model, human skill is knowledge about and the ability to work with people, which means being aware of one’s own perspectives on issues and, at the same time, being aware of the perspectives of others (Northouse, 2013). This CEO strives on the customer’s needs. Figuring what customers want before the cash register rings and then making those insights pays off (Forbes, 2012). Bezos being aware of the perspectives of the customers, is able to shape the goals and needs of the company to meet these needs of the customer.
The skills from Katz’s model demonstrated the most by Bezos would be conceptual skills. Conceptual skills are the ability to work with ideas and concepts and are central to creating a vision and strategic plan for an organization. A leader with conceptual skills is good at putting the company’s goals into words and can understand and express the economic principles that affect the company (Northouse, 2013). Bezos’ work ethic and roots of pushing himself while working hard to succeed builds learning of self-reliance. The respect for that ethic explains why Amazon screens its job candidates for a strong bias to action and an ability to work through ambiguity (Forbes, 2012).…...

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Jeff Bezos – the Leader of Amazon

...Jeff Bezos is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes named him as the 17th most powerful person in 2015, down from 16th in 2014 (The World's Most Powerful People). He is also listed as #4 in Forbes 400, #3 Richest in Tech, #15 Billionaires in the world, and #11 Billionaires in the United States for 2015 (The World’s Most Powerful People). His current net worth is listed as $49.2 billion and changes daily with stock prices (The World's Billionaires). Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 under the name of Cadabra and the name was changed a year later to Amazon (Amazon). Amazon began as an online bookstore based out of a garage. Bezos would drive orders to the post office for delivery each night after working his normal job. With the leadership of Jeff Bezos, Amazon has grown to the largest online retailer in the United States (Amazon). Leadership Style Jeff Bezos has multiple leadership styles. This is important as the leader of a company worth more than $175 billion (The World's Most Innovative Companies). Blanken (2013) explains that “if you’re leading well, you won’t have just one leadership style.” Jeff Bezos can be described as a “task-oriented transactional leader” (Sinha, 2015). Sinha (2015) defines a transactional leader as “one with rigorous benchmarks who is often uninterested in other people’s opinions.” Bezos is so different that other companies, such as Groupon, who have hired many former Amazon employees, have tried to use Bezos’s...

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