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Jeff Bezos tells Amazon to take better care of its employees in his last letter as CEO

Jeff Bezos has penned his last annual letter to shareholders as the CEO of Amazon. Due to step down from his role later this year, Bezos shares the journey of Amazon to date and the beliefs which he held firm during the journey.

twitter-logoSarthak Dogra | April 16, 2021 | Updated 14:03 IST
Jeff Bezos (Image: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Jeff Bezos will be stepping down from his role as the Amazon CEO later this year.
  • A recent letter by him, addressed to the shareholders, talks of the time to come once he steps down.
  • He highlights how Amazon has created value for many since its inception.

World's richest man for quite a long time now, Jeff Bezos, is due to step down from his role as a chief executive of Amazon later this year. Before he does, the Amazon CEO penned down a final letter to all the shareholders of Amazon, writing all that he felt about the mammoth business he helped them create over the years.

The letter comes as a part of an annual practice by Bezos that started way back in 1997. Bezos has since then written such an annual letter to Amazon shareholders every year, making it into a ritual that several startup CEOs now follow religiously.

In his latest letter, which is also going to be his last in his role at the helm of the biggest e-commerce major in the world, Bezos writes about his mantra in life, about the work culture at Amazon, as well as about the upcoming CEO Andy Jassy.

Here is what Bezos wrote in the letter that will be his final one during his reign as Amazon CEO.

Jeff Bezos letter

In his letter, Bezos recalls the wondrous journey that Amazon has had since first going public in 1997 at a stock price of $1.50 per share. Bezos had termed the day as Day 1 for Amazon.

At the time, Amazon had a total of 614 employees and had just surpassed 1.5 million customer accounts. Bezos mentions the company's incredible growth since then, with it now having 1.3 million employees and more than 200 million Prime members worldwide.

Bezos also mentions the wealth created during this strive. He highlights that other than his one-eighth share, a total of $1.4 trillion has been raised for shareowners over time. These include pension funds, universities, 401(k)s and several small investors who invested in the firm since the beginning.

Bezos even shares a letter directed to him by one such couple of small investors. The letter mentions how the couple's son was able to buy a house through the shares recently and how just a few shares of the company have grown into a huge return over the years.

Bezos, however, stresses that wealth is not the biggest value that Amazon has created in its lifetime. It is how the company has managed to create value for everyone involved with the various arms of it. He highlights so through numbers, taking into account the net income of Amazon, net expense, third-party seller profits, time and money savings for buyers on Amazon, as well as the AWS customers.

Addressing workplace concerns

In the letter, Bezos also talks about the recently held union vote in Bessemer that highlighted the severe workplace environment for Amazon warehouse employees. Bezos writes that the company needs to "do a better job" for its employees, at the same time disregarding reports of complete negligence towards them.

He mentions that the company urges its employees towards achievable performance goals, lets them have informal breaks, and even coaches them with a variety of skills. He still asserts that the situation should be improved further.

For this, he calls out for an initiative to make Amazon Earth's Best Employer and Earth's Safest Place to Work. He says that he will personally work towards the goal as the Executive Chair of the company going forward.

The Climate Pledge

Lastly, Bezos writes on the long-time climate pledge that the company has been following. He mentions how the Climate Pledge signatories are headed to a zero-emission future by shaping their practices around sustainable practices.

One example for Amazon is its commitment to bring electric vehicles to its delivery fleet. Working across the US, Europe and India with several vendors, Bezos highlights how Amazon will soon be making one of the major sources of emissions - transportation - an emission-free sector.

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