Jeff Bezos Tells Employees 'One Day Amazon Will Fail'

Guardian Web |

Amazon  (AMZN) is going to fail, Jeff Bezos, the tech company’s founder, told staff recently.

In an all-hands meeting with his staff, the world’s richest man made the surprising warning that Amazon, currently valued just short of $1tn and regarded as the most fearsome retailer on the planet, would one day face its own demise.

“Amazon is not too big to fail … In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years,” Bezos told staff, according to a recording that was heard by CNBC.

Bezos was addressing a question about Sears, once the world’s largest retail chain, which filed for bankruptcy in October – collapsing in large part after its failure to compete with Amazon.

In order to stave off Amazon’s demise, Bezos said, Amazon would have to “obsess over customers” and avoid looking inward.

“If we start to focus on ourselves instead of focusing on our customers, that will be the beginning of the end,” he said. “We have to try and delay that day for as long as possible.”

Bezos’s frank admission of mortality come in a tough week for the tech giant. On Tuesday Amazon announced the location of its new headquarters – one in Queens, New York, and another in Arlington, Virginia.

The announcement came after a hard-fought beauty parade between cities across the US who offered billions on subsidies and investments to woo Amazon.

But New York residents in particular have been outraged by the size of the corporate welfare package offered to Amazon. “The governor and the mayor have decided to throw Jeff Bezos almost $3bn in subsidies and tax breaks – and throw in a helipad so he doesn’t have to take the damn 7 train,” said city councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Long Island City.

Amazon is also facing a global backlash over the sheer scale of its business. European regulators have opened an antitrust investigation into the company’s use of data. In the US, where Amazon is shortly expected to account for 50% of all e-commerce, there have been calls to break the company up.

The company has also been a consistent target ofDonald Trump. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, a persistent critic of Trump’s administration, and the president has threatened investigations over Amazon’s taxes and use of the postal service.

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