How Amazon and Jeff Bezos Changed the World

Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon CEO

After nearly 27 years, Jeff Bezos has announced he is stepping down as the CEO of Amazon, the company he founded to sell books over dial-up modems. Amazon was not the first bookstore to begin selling online, but it had the goal of becoming the “Earth’s biggest.” When Amazon launched, a bell would ring in the Seattle headquarters every single time an order was placed. Within a few weeks, it was ringing so frequently that employees had to turn it off.

Since then, Bezos grew his vision into making an “everything store.” After achieving retail dominance, the company went on to become a powerful global conglomerate. Today, Amazon is the third most valuable U.S. company just behind Apple and Microsoft with a market capitalization of near 1.7 trillion USD.

Jeff Bezos, Redefining Retail

Amazon continuously takes shopping convenience to new heights. With Amazon Prime’s two-day free shipping, consumers began expecting no less from other retailers. Around 142 million U.S. consumers have and utilize Amazon Prime. With this and features like one-click ordering, package pickup at Amazon hubs, the single touch Dash button, and Amazon Key in-home delivery Amazon made shopping much more convenient. Shoppers can also search and order items through their Amazon Echo, by clicking an ad, or even through the cashier-less “Go” store in Seattle.

Amazon’s dominance is a factor in the increasing closures of brick-and-mortar stores. Retail stores cannot keep pace with the changes happening in the industry. Prior to the pandemic, stores were closing at an extraordinary rate. Analysts are predicting a “retail apocalypse.” Yet, Amazon has benefited tremendously in the lockdowns with more consumers purchased goods online to avoid the health risks present in brick-and-mortar stores. The company’s share price has nearly doubled since the beginning of lockdown in March 2020.

A Major Employer

The impact of Amazon extends to other industries, such as smart consumer devices like Alexa, cloud services via Amazon Web Services, and tech products like drones. Industry players and observers refer to this impact by the term “Amazoned.” It describes Amazon disrupting its business model and operations.

Today, Amazon is the 2nd largest U.S.-based publicly-listed employer. It is the 5th largest in the world. The company employs 1.2 million people and brought on 427,000 employees during the pandemic. It is no wonder Amazon created such a loud buzz in 2018 with their competition to select a location for their 2nd headquarters. Arlington, Virginia was eventually chosen.

The work culture at Amazon is intense. Their reputation is that it is a cutthroat environment with a high rate of employee burnout. They are automating as many jobs as possible, mostly in warehousing. With this, after enduring criticism from policymakers, Amazon increased the minimum wage for U.S. employees in 2018. They face growing criticism on the impact of their packagings such as boxes, non-recyclable materials, and emissions from their delivery vehicles. Due to this, they have pledged to disclose more information on their environmental impact

The Next-Gen

What exactly is in store for the company as Bezos steps down as CEO? Bezos will stay on as Amazon’s executive chairman and previously said his focus will be on keeping Amazon from dying. He stated in a 2018 meeting that, “Amazon is not too big to fail.”

The company’s future, as well as society’s, is linked to the rise of AI. They are testing anticipatory shipping, a practice which anticipates what consumers need and sends it to them before the consumer can order it. They are also betting on cashier-free stores and AI-powered household robots.

Yet, the company’s future success will vastly depend on how the incoming CEO, the current head of cloud computing Andy Jassy, navigates these emerging technologies. His biggest challenge is keeping Jeff Bezos’ legacy and Amazon’s distribution alive.


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  1. […] Amazon is taking the initiative by investing heavily in upskilling their frontline employees. While not everyone will become data scientists, Amazon aims to make everyone data literate. As a teacher, I strongly believe that there is a significant gap between what we offer and what the job market requires. Therefore, it becomes crucial for employers to step in and fill this void to remain competitive. […]

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