Power Trip: Jeff Bezos

Student Life
Age: 47
What do the numbers say? In the Forbes Most Powerful People in the world ranking he is listed #66, but only because half of the other places are dominated by politicians.
So not only powerful but also damn rich… In the Forbes Billionaires list of the world’s richest people he is ranked #30.
So far so good, but what does he actually do? He runs one of the most influential companies of the 21st century. Bezos founded Amazon in 1994. After initially setting up the company in his garage, Bezos is now CEO, president and chairman of the board.
Is there any position he didn’t take? No.
Trivial information? Sure, no problem. Amazon is named after the Amazon River – that’s almost as creative as Google being named after the number googol (which means 1 × 10100, or, simply huge) but much less nerdy.
What’s his salary like? Good question! Notoriously small. Bezos’ salary as CEO was only $81,840 in 2010. That might be a fair salary compared to the CEO of Goldman Sachs but Bezos still holds 20% of Amazon’s shares which makes him the 13th richest person in the US.
I still buy my books in a bookshop. I’ve never used Amazon. Ho-ho-hold up. Yes you have. Even if you’ve personally avoided the online cave of wonders, you’ve probably still received an Amazon-bought present and read a library book bought on Amazon.
Aha! But don’t Amazon sell e-books now? Why bother with those big and inconvenient tree-killers? The next big step after Amazon’s attempted assassination of the written book with the Kindle will be a tablet PC called the Kindle Fire. Watch out iPad.
What if I’m hungry for something other than knowledge? Amazon started to sell food and vegetables in 2007. You can even order fresh milk in the company’s grocery store. With Amazon at the helm, where do we stop? Apparently, there’s no need to leave the house anymore and maybe, some day, Amazon will even sell test-tube babies and escort services.
I think we should stop now. It was purely hypothetical. Jeff would never approve.
Manuel Schaeffer

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