It’s still Day One for Andy Jassy
Good morning! We hope you enjoyed the long weekend. Today, we’re taking a look at Andy Jassy’s first year in the job as Amazon CEO.
It’s always Day One
It’s a year to the day since Andy Jassy took over at Amazon. And despite 365 days having passed since Jeff Bezos ceded control, many of the company’s problems persist.
Worker unrest has grown to a fever pitch under Jassy. Amazon’s warehouse workers have been vocal for a while, but in the past year many pushed for — and in one case voted for — unionization.
- Jassy has said that Amazon would be better off without unions, and the company’s dumped money into anti-unionization consultants.
The S-Team reshuffle has continued. A few notable execs left Amazon before and around the time Jassy stepped in, including Charlie Bell, Jeff Wilke and Steve Kessel.
- More leaders left in recent weeks: Alicia Boler Davis, David Bozeman and Dave Clark.
- Filling the recent departures is important: Clark worked closely with Jassy, and Boler Davis and Bozeman were two of Amazon’s most senior Black execs.
Jassy’s antitrust battle has only gotten started. The FTC ramped up its probe into Amazon’s purchase of MGM earlier this year, and while the deal went through, the commission likely has a lot more in store on other fronts.
- The FTC now has a Democratic majority again with Alvaro Bedoya as the fifth commissioner. Bedoya could speed up a lawsuit against Amazon and push for more privacy rules.
Climate change remains a challenge. Bezos set major climate goals for Amazon before he stepped away, but the company’s been fairly quiet on the climate front since.
- In February, a report by the The Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that Amazon vastly undercounts some of its CO2 emissions, only counting emissions for the products it sells if they’re Amazon-branded products.
Bezos’ Hollywood ambitions are still alive. Amazon continued to churn out content, exclusively streamed an awards show and closed its $8.5 billion deal to buy MGM in March.
- But the efforts have been costly: the company spent $13 billion in 2021 on TV, film and music, up 18% from the prior year.
Jassy’s former stomping ground has done well since he handed the reins to Adam Selipsky. Its operating profit soared 57% in the first quarter of 2022, to $6.5 billion.
- But AWS has faced internal turmoil. The company opened a discrimination investigation last year following a petition alleging discrimination and harrassment. An investigation by Oppenheimer Investigations (funded by Amazon) found “no evidence” of discrimination, but Protocol’s Joe Williams reported that it’s hiding in plain sight.
Andy Jassy was never going to be Jeff Bezos 2.0. By all accounts he’s quieter and less intense than his predecessor, and no doubt he’s trying to run his own Amazon. But there’s still plenty to do. It may be Day 366 at the helm for Jassy, but he still needs to treat it like Day One.
— Sarah Roach (she/her/hers) and Nat Rubio-Licht (they/them/theirs)
The future of fast?
The return to normal has been hard on fast delivery companies like Gopuff, Gorillas and Buyk. I spoke with Gopuff's SVP of North America, Maria Renz, to find out how that feels.
Here’s what Renz had to say about the future of her company and industry during our conversation, which you can read in full here.
- Gopuff’s longevity may help it recover. “We were profitable for the first three years of the business, because the founders took the time to deeply understand unit economics before scaling. We also have a strong balance sheet.”
- Renz called fast delivery the “modern way” people live. “They want to have flexibility in terms of, ‘Hey, I'm looking for Tylenol,’ or, ‘I want to pick up some groceries, and I can do that at the spur of the moment and receive those goods in minutes.’”
- The timeline for Gopuff’s IPO is unclear. Gopuff was preparing to go public in mid-2022 back in December, but the company declined to say its current timeline.
- CBD is coming to some markets “in a matter of weeks.” Gopuff added the item based on search on the company’s website. Gopuff launched beer in New York City, too.
— Sarah Roach (she/her/hers)
SPONSORED CONTENT FROM VERSAPAY
Executives that don't align CX ambitions with accounts receivable leave money on the table: Fewer than half of executives (44%) see better communication with customers as a benefit of digitizing AR. Meanwhile, 72% state that their AR department isn't customer-oriented enough, implying that executives understand the need for customer-oriented AR departments, but aren't aware that they can close that gap as part of their AR digitization project.
People are talking
Mark Zuckerberg told Meta employees that not everyone will make it through the tough economic times:
- “Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.”
Kraken's Jesse Powell defended his workplace “back to dictatorship" crackdown:
- “I guess some people interpreted having rules as being arrogant or being authoritarian. I don't know if these people are cut out to be working in any company.”
Jeff Bezos called Joe Biden's plea for lower gas prices “misdirection” or a “deep misunderstanding” of market dynamics:
- “Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this.”
COMING THIS WEEK
The annual Sun Valley tech and media conference begins Wednesday. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook and Rupert Murdoch are on the guest list.
Reddit bought MeaningCloud, a natural language processing company, opening its first office in Spain with the deal.
BlockFi agreed to sell itself to FTX after all, in a deal that could net the company up to $240 million as part of a credit financing agreement.
Celsius laid off a quarter of its staff, affecting around 150 employees.
RIP Novi. Meta is shutting down its digital wallet starting Sept. 1. Users won’t be able to add money to their accounts starting July 21.
In other news
Did you watch a Fourth of July drone show? Some communities are swapping out fireworks for drones, which is a lot better for the climate.
Tesla's EV deliveries fell this quarter. It was the company's first quarterly decline since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Google will begin auto-deleting location data related to sensitive places, including abortion clinics, counseling centers and domestic violence shelters.
Crypto companies will have to disclose their climate impact, the EU and the European Parliament ruled.
A hacker claims to have stolen data on 1 billion Chinese citizens from Shanghai police records. It might be the biggest data breach in history.
Your data point of the day: NFT sales have hit a 12-month low, totaling just over $1 billion in June.
Many privacy policies are confusing on purpose: Platforms don’t always want you to know the inner workings of what they do with your data. The Washington Post has some tips on what to look for when skimming the fine print, like control-F searching for key terms like “sell” and “affiliates.”
SPONSORED CONTENT FROM VERSAPAY
Executives that don't align CX ambitions with accounts receivable leave money on the table: A resounding 96% of respondents claimed that there is work to do in digitizing their AR departments, yet 60% agreed that their AR departments haven’t been prioritized as much as other departments for digitization. At a time when the importance of securing cash flow is higher than ever, many businesses are not putting enough focus on it.
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or our tips line, email@example.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.