Jeff Bezos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos' iconic laugh.jpg
Bezos at the ENCORE awards in 2010
BornJeffrey Preston Jorgensen
(1964-01-12) January 12, 1964 (age 50)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
Alma materPrinceton University (B.S.E)
OccupationChairman and CEO of Amazon.com
Salary$81,840 [1]
Net worthDecrease US$28.9 billion (2013)[2]
Spouse(s)MacKenzie Bezos (m. 1993)[3]
ChildrenFour[4]
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos' iconic laugh.jpg
Bezos at the ENCORE awards in 2010
BornJeffrey Preston Jorgensen
(1964-01-12) January 12, 1964 (age 50)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
Alma materPrinceton University (B.S.E)
OccupationChairman and CEO of Amazon.com
Salary$81,840 [1]
Net worthDecrease US$28.9 billion (2013)[2]
Spouse(s)MacKenzie Bezos (m. 1993)[3]
ChildrenFour[4]

Jeffrey Preston "Jeff" Bezos (/ˈbzs/;[5] born January 12, 1964) is an American Internet entrepreneur and investor. He is a technology entrepreneur who has played a key role in the growth of e-commerce[6] as the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, an online merchant of books and later of a wide variety of products. Under his guidance, Amazon.com became the largest retailer on the World Wide Web and a top model for Internet sales.[7] In 2013, Bezos purchased The Washington Post newspaper.[8]

Early life and personal[edit]

Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Jacklyn (née Gise) and Ted Jorgensen.[9] His maternal ancestors were settlers who lived in Texas, and over the generations acquired a 25,000 acre (101 km2 or 39 miles2) ranch near Cotulla. Bezos's maternal grandfather was a regional director of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in Albuquerque. He retired early to the ranch, where Bezos spent many summers as a youth, working with him.[10] At an early age, he displayed mechanical aptitude – as a toddler, he tried dismantling his crib.[11]

Bezos's mother was a teenager at the time. Her marriage to his father lasted a little more than a year. When Jeff was four, she remarried, to Miguel Bezos, a Cuban who immigrated to the United States alone when he was fifteen years old, worked his way through the University of Albuquerque, married, and legally adopted his stepson Jeff. After the marriage, the family moved to Houston, Texas, and Miguel became an engineer for Exxon. The young Bezos attended River Oaks Elementary School in Houston from fourth to sixth grade. As a child, he spent summers at his grandfather's ranch in southern Texas, "laying pipe, vaccinating cattle and fixing windmills."[12]

Bezos often showed intense scientific interests. He rigged an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room.[13] The family moved to Miami, Florida, where he attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School. While in high school, he attended the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida, receiving a Silver Knight Award in 1982.[14] He was high school valedictorian.[15]

He attended Princeton University, intending to study physics, but soon returned to his love of computers and graduated summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in electrical engineering and computer science. While at Princeton, he was elected to the honor societies Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He also served as the President of the Princeton chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.[16]

According to Nick Hanauer (an early investor in Amazon) and "others who know [him]", Bezos is described as a libertarian.[12] In July 2012, Bezos and his wife personally donated $2.5 million to pass a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington.[17] According to Newsmeat.com, a web site that documents political donations made by "the powerful, rich, and famous" since 1977 (and donations higher than $200), Bezos has donated $16,000 to United States Democrats, $2,000 to United States Republicans, and $55,000 to special interests as of September 6, 2012.[18]

Bezos has spent $42 million to fund the first full-scale Clock of the Long Now, designed to last 10,000 years.[19][20]

Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, have four children.[4]

Business career[edit]

After graduating from Princeton in 1986, Bezos worked on Wall Street in the computer science field.[21] Then he worked on building a network for international trade for a company known as Fitel. He next worked at Bankers Trust, where he became vice-president. Later on he also worked in computer science for D. E. Shaw & Co.

Amazon.com[edit]

Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 after making a cross-country drive from New York to Seattle, writing up the Amazon business plan on the way. He initially set up the company in his garage.[22] He had left his "well-paying job" at a New York City hedge fund when he "learned about the rapid growth in Internet use", which coincided with a "then-new U.S. Supreme Court ruling [that] online retailers [would not] have to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence"; he had headed to Washington because its relatively small population meant fewer of his future customers would have to pay sales tax.[12]

According to Forbes, Amazon's shares "defied gravity" in 2011, jumping 55% and adding $6.5 billion to Bezos's net worth.[23]

Bezos is known for his attention to business details. As described by Portfolio.com, he "is at once a happy-go-lucky mogul and a notorious micromanager: "an executive who wants to know about everything from contract minutiae to how he is quoted in all Amazon press releases."[22]

Blue Origin[edit]

In 2000, Bezos founded Blue Origin, a human spaceflight startup company,[24] partially as a result of his fascination with space travel,[25] including an early interest in developing "space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2 million or 3 million people orbiting the Earth."[15] The company was kept secret for a few years until it became publicly known only in 2006 when purchasing a sizable aggregation of land in west Texas for a launch and test facility.[26]

In a 2011 interview, Bezos indicated that he founded the space company to help enable "anybody to go into space" and stated that the company was committed to decreasing the cost and increasing the safety of spaceflight.[27] Blue Origin is "one of several start-ups aiming to open up space travel to paying customers. Like Amazon, the company is secretive, but [in September 2011] revealed that it had lost an unmanned prototype vehicle during a short-hop test flight. Although this was a setback, the announcement of the loss revealed for the first time just how far Blue Origin's team had advanced."[25] Bezos said that the crash was 'not the outcome that any of us wanted, but we're signed up for this to be hard.'"[25] A profile published in 2013 described a 1982 Miami Herald interview he gave after he was named high school class valedictorian. The 18-year-old Bezos "said he wanted to build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2 million or 3 million people who would be in orbit. 'The whole idea is to preserve the earth' he told the newspaper .... The goal was to be able to evacuate humans. The planet would become a park."[4]

In 2013, Bezos is reportedly discussing business opportunities and strategies with Richard Branson, multibillionaire founder of Virgin Group and Chairman of Virgin Galactic.[28]

The Washington Post[edit]

On August 5, 2013, Bezos announced his purchase of The Washington Post for $250 million in cash. The sale is personal to Bezos. Amazon.com will not be involved.[29] "This is uncharted terrain," he told the newspaper, "and it will require experimentation."[29][dated info]

The Washington Post published a long-form profile of Bezos on August 10, 2013, a feature in which Bezos declined to be interviewed.[4]

Recognition[edit]

He was named Time magazine's Person of the Year in 1999.[30] In 2008, he was selected by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best leaders.[31] Bezos was awarded an honorary doctorate in Science and Technology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008. In 2011, The Economist gave Bezos and Gregg Zehr an Innovation Award for the Amazon Kindle.[32]

In 2012, Bezos was named Businessperson of The Year by Fortune.[33]

He is also a member of the Bilderberg Group and attended the Swiss 2011 Bilderberg conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland.[34] He is a member of the Executive Committee of The Business Council for 2011 and 2012.[35]

As of August 2013, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos is listed as one of the wealthiest people in the world with an estimated net worth of $28 billion.[2] He was ranked the second best CEO in the world by Harvard Business Review, after Steve Jobs of Apple.

An expedition funded by Jeff Bezos recovered two powerful Saturn V first-stage F-1 rocket engines from the Atlantic Ocean. They were positively identified as belonging to the Apollo 11 mission's S-1C stage in July 2013.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jeff Bezos's Salary Is Only $14,000 More Than The Average Facebook Intern's". 
  2. ^ a b "Bloomberg Billionaires". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ Bayers, Chip. "The Inner Bezos". Wired. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Whoriskey, Peter (August 12, 2013). "For Jeff Bezos, a new frontier". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Jeff Bezos pronounces his name". The Washington Post. 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Jeff Bezos: Online Commerce Pioneer". TED. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ Demery, Paul (January 14, 2013). "Bezos: 'I never expected this'". Internet Retailer. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ Farhi, Paul (August 5, 2013). "Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  9. ^ Robinson, Tom (2009). Jeff Bezos: Amazon.com Architect. ABDO. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-60453-759-8. 
  10. ^ "Biography and Video Interview of Jeff Bezos at Academy of Achievement". Achievement.org. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ Hof, Robert D. (December 14, 1998). "The torrent of energy behind Amazon". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 
  12. ^ a b c Martinez, Amy; Heim, Kristi (March 31, 2012). "Amazon a virtual no-show in hometown philanthropy". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 1, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Biography and Video Interview of Jeff Bezos at Academy of Achievement". Achievement.org. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Miami-Dade Winners". Silver Knight Awards. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. 
  15. ^ a b Martinez, Amy (March 31, 2012). "Amazon.com's Bezos invests in space travel, time". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Jeff Bezos Interview – page 6 / 6 – Academy of Achievement". Achievement.org. April 17, 2008. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ Shear, Micheal D. (July 27, 2012). "Amazon's Founder Pledges $2.5 Million in Support of Same Sex Marriage". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ "Jeff Bezos's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Newsmeat.com. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  19. ^ Tweney, Dylan (June 24, 2011). "How to Make a Clock Run for 10,000 Years". Wired. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  20. ^ Plotz, David (June 19, 2012). "Jeff Bezos and the Long Now Foundation's 10,000-year clock". Slate.com. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Tau Beta Pi Leaders and Innovators". The Tau Beta Pi Association. 
  22. ^ a b "Top Executive Profiles – Jeffrey P. Bezos". Portfolio.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2009. 
  23. ^ O'Connor, Clare (September 29, 2011). "Jeff Bezos: Amazon's Rocket Man Keeps Getting Richer". Forbes. 
  24. ^ Boyle, Alan (November 11, 2006). "Blue Origin Revealed". MSNBC. Retrieved December 9, 2011. 
  25. ^ a b c "Taking the long view: Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, owes much of his success to his ability to look beyond the short-term view of things". The Economist. March 3, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2013. "Mr Bezos's willingness to take a long-term view also explains his fascination with space travel, and his decision to found a secretive company called Blue Origin, one of several start-ups now building spacecraft with private funding." 
  26. ^ Mangalindan, Mylene (November 10, 2006). "Buzz in West Texas is about Jeff Bezos space craft launch site". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 28, 2008. 
  27. ^ Levy, Steven (November 13, 2011). "Jeff Bezos Owns the Web in More Ways Than You Think". Wired. Retrieved December 9, 2011. 
  28. ^ Veverka, Mark (May 27, 2013). "Unplugged: Richard Branson's otherworldly space quest". USA Today. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b Farhi, Paul. "Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  30. ^ Cooper Ramo, Joshua (December 27, 1999). "Jeffrey Preston Bezos: 1999 Person of the year". Time. 
  31. ^ LaGesse, David (November 19, 2008). "America's Best Leaders: Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com CEO". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  32. ^ "Charging ahead: e-book design and popularity win Kindle creators Innovation Award". The Economist. September 19, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Amazon's Jeff Bezos: The ultimate disrupter". Fortune. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Bilderberg 2011 list of participants". BilderbergMeetings.org. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Executive Committee". The Business Council. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  36. ^ Pearlman, Robert Z. (July 19, 2013). "Rocket Engine Part Recovered by Amazon CEO Has Apollo 11 History". Space.com (New York). Archived from the original on August 10, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]