A tale of Jeff Bezos: an explosive character leads Amazon to its explosive growth

A tale of Jeff Bezos: an explosive character leads Amazon to its explosive growth
After a thorough writeup on Twitter’s Jack Dorsey yesterday, now it’s Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos’ turn to get into the limelight in a huge piece running on Bloomberg.

The focus seems to be on the double-personality of Bezos, a compassionate person who can quickly radically transform into an abrasive executive that instills fear and respect in his employees.

Those seem to be qualities a good manager needs to balance when trying to manage one of the largest Internet companies nowadays. Amazon.com 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: jeff@amazon.com, 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.

“We research each of them because they tell us something about our processes. It’s an audit that is done for us by our customers. We treat them as precious sources of information,” senior Amazon VP Jeff Wilke explains.

That attitude did not appear by itself. Like Steve Jobs that was so abrupt as to fire people in the elevator, and Bill Gates that would throw a tantrum, Jeff Bezos is also known for his short temper, especially when he faces lazy or stupid ideas and people. There’s even a collection of his signature one-liners, that would shut employees off:

“Are you lazy or just incompetent?”
“I’m sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?”

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.

It’s actually written down in one of Amazon’s 14 leadership principles:

“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.”

That’s not the only thing that Bezos is well known for, though. A brilliant mind, he is still uneducated in some areas, but tales of his capability to quickly get oriented and harshly criticize new spotty ideas in that area has surprised his employees not once. He’s also an aggressive deal-maker, and so much more. Make sure the check out the source below for a full picture, and share our thoughts about the portrayal of Amazon’s most important person.

source: Business Week



1. Rongocook

Posts: 76; Member since: Sep 20, 2013

Smart guy. love the principle.

2. fouadqr

Posts: 326; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

He is Bald...!!!!!!!!!!!

5. JojoGo101

Posts: 211; Member since: Dec 17, 2012

You mad you can't afford to cover up your half-bald hair? Jeez, kid, that comment was so retarded, I really thought if I should even comment.

3. yadu004

Posts: 72; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

Thanks PA for the nice article!! keep it up.

4. Gatman

Posts: 18; Member since: Sep 07, 2013

I sure do love Amazon.

6. mike2959

Posts: 696; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

I love Amazon as well. What I can't relate to is when customers bitch about Best Buy customer service, when Amazon it's like self service. Best Buy needs to lower their prices $1 less than Amazon, but have no employees in the store! Just pull the car around and get your merchandise.

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