58.2 F
Seattle
Saturday, July 2, 2022

Jeff Bezos, Master of Inventions, Reinvents Himself

In a bombshell announcement that surprised (on the timing) Amazon insiders, CEO/founder Jeff Bezos, 57, announced Tuesday (2/2) that he will step down from that post at the end of 2021. The company named Andy Jassy, head of Amazon Web Services, as the new CEO. No surprise there as Jassy, who built up AWS from scratch over the past two decades, is the obvious choice.

Bezos had stepped back slightly from hands-on management in 2019, before resuming a more active role when the pandemic struck. Still, the signals of moving on could be detected, particularly with all the new causes, such as climate change, that he has developed. Bezos’s new role, executive chairman, positions him to help develop many of these new initiatives in both the commercial side (health care, space travel) and nonprofit work. That title word, executive, is hard to decipher, but Bezos is a master at delegating to strong managers.

In making the announcement, Bezos said Amazon is at its “most inventive ever,” and that might apply to the business leader himself. One former board member notes how passionately Bezos believes in invention, and that Bezos believes we can invent our way out of global warming. The recent round of $800 million Bezos-directed donations from the Bezos Earth Fund gave one indication — funding work on carbon-capturing corn.

Might Bezos, like Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, simply be trying out a new role and maybe retake the helm later? Unlikely, says a longtime board member. More likely, Bezos is following the path of Bill Gates, finding his passion in solving some of the world’s mighty problems. This Ground Hog Day, out he popped, squinting at the sun.

David Brewster
David Brewster
David Brewster, a founding member of Post Alley, has a long career in publishing, having founded Seattle Weekly, Sasquatch Books, and Crosscut.com. His civic ventures have been Town Hall Seattle and FolioSeattle.

Post Alley welcomes comments to our articles. Our guidelines: no personal attacks, stay on topic, add something of value to the discussion. Our editors will edit comments for clarity and to conform with our guidelines. We encourage writers to use their full names.

3 COMMENTS

  1. It would be nice if Seattle’s political leaders saw this as a possible opportunity to improve their relationship with Amazon.

    • I think there is a good chance this will happen. Jasse is much more embedded in Seattle’s political culture and so might help the rapprochement as well as be a better match for the activist employees at Amazon.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LATEST

Time to Lower the Heat in the Post-Roe Commentary

4
If the SCOTUS decision is the beginning, not the end, of the debate, we will need a lot more thoughtful commentary. Here are some examples.

Bolting for the Bigs: USC, UCLA Abandon PAC-12 for Big Ten (UW Next?)

12
It’s official now that the industry has fallen off the edge of the flat Earth propped so long by the mythology of amateurism.

Inside City Hall’s Serious Budget Shortfall

7
The multimillion-dollar gap -- viewed in the perspective of an annual budget in the $7 billion range -- is perhaps not horrific. But it still is bound to impact what the city can achieve towards meeting its on-going needs and ambitious social goals.

Battling Cancer, B.C. Premier Horgan to Step Down

1
Horgan, leader of the New Democratic Party, was a temperamental opposition leader but has proven an avuncular head of government. 

Pot Industry Versus its Workers

2
A new political action committee, People for Legal Cannabis, is gearing up to fight any effort by outsiders such as the UFCW to empower their workers. 

TRENDING

Bolting for the Bigs: USC, UCLA Abandon PAC-12 for Big Ten (UW Next?)

12
It’s official now that the industry has fallen off the edge of the flat Earth propped so long by the mythology of amateurism.

Time to Lower the Heat in the Post-Roe Commentary

4
If the SCOTUS decision is the beginning, not the end, of the debate, we will need a lot more thoughtful commentary. Here are some examples.

Inside City Hall’s Serious Budget Shortfall

7
The multimillion-dollar gap -- viewed in the perspective of an annual budget in the $7 billion range -- is perhaps not horrific. But it still is bound to impact what the city can achieve towards meeting its on-going needs and ambitious social goals.

The Complicated Legacy of Julia Child

3
The show may be a fictionalized version of Child’s groundbreaking TV success, but it portrays struggles by women for recognition and equality that ring true to that era.

The Fallacy (and Laziness) of Both-Sides-ism

2
The Republicans and the Democrats are not the same. Underlying too much of contemporary reporting is a “false equivalency,” which posits that by representing “both sides” balance and objectivity are attained.