Today is the day that Amazon will say Goodbye Jeff Bezos as he steps down as Chief Executive Officer of the company he founded in 1994.
It appears Jeff is a sentimental type of guy as the date, the 5th of July 2021 is exactly 27 years to the day after he founded Amazon on the 5th of July 1994. It’s a fitting date to leave and in any case it must be hard to quit the baby you grew from it’s first book sale to a $386 billion revenue company.
“We chose that date because it’s sentimental for me, the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago.”
– Jeff Bezos
It won’t be a final Goodbye Jeff Bezos, as although he’s stepping down as Chief Executive Officer, he will transition to become executive chairman. His successor, Andy Jassy will become Chief Executive Officer.
Earth says Goodbye Jeff Bezos
In just 15 days time, it will be once again time to say Goodbye Jeff Bezos as he fires himself into space on his New Shepard rocket ship built by his Blue Origin space company. On the 20th of July 2021, this will be the first crewed mission but once again it will be a very short goodbye as the flight is scheduled to last just 11 minutes. It will be an adrenalin fueled adventure to the edge of space, around 5 times higher than Concorde used to fly, before the fall back to earth and the (hopefully) gentle landing slowed by giant parachutes. The main body of the rocket should also fall back to earth to land in a controlled upright landing ready for reuse.
Jeff has always been fascinated by space and the timing of the two events – stepping down as CEO and a trip to space – is probably no coincidence. All the time Jeff was Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer he was probably banned from a risky space trip, no matter how lower the risks are compared to a full orbital flight or trip into deep space.
The dangers of even the trip Jeff plans are real, but minimised as he’ll only be going about 63 miles up, which means less fuel, lower temperatures and more safety procedures are possible than say a trip to the International Space Station. The return trip will also be massively less risky as the high temperatures of re-entry and hitting the earth’s atmosphere at thousands of miles an hour and the resultant heat generated won’t be involved in this mission. Indeed, Jeff, his brother and other fellow near space travellers aboard the rocket won’t even have to wear space suits and massive windows are provided to ensure they get a great view of the earth’s curvature and space itself.
What Jeff did for you
Much of the western world has been impacted by Jeff’s influence over the past 27 years. Even if you’ve never purchased a single item on Amazon he’ll have touched your life in one way or another. You’ve probably visited a website hosted on AWS, purchased a product from a company who’s business relies on Amazon for part of it’s business, or at the very least purchased a product who’s price on the open market has been driven down by Amazon’s relentless quest to serve the customer.
You’ll also have had your life impacted by deliveries – Every courier company in the world has been driven to higher standards and retailers have had to compete with Amazon and so upped their service offering. Back in 1994, the standard for catalogue shopping (hardly anyone used the Internet!) was a 28 working days delivery promise. Yes, that’s over a month to receive a distance selling purchase by the time you add in weekends! Amazon moved the goal posts so that today next day delivery is an expected norm, same day delivery isn’t a pipe dream and, if you live in a major city, delivery within a couple of hours is now a reality.
Like him or loath him (and there’s been plenty of controversy from stupidly long working hours to issues around tax and the claim that Amazon killed the high street), we all have a lot to thank Jeff for. Without Amazon, the world would undoubtedly have moved online and embraced the Internet. Jeff Bezos accelerated the process and changed not just shopping, but everything from delivery, web hosting, product pricing, the book industry, the movie industry and countless other initiatives too many to name.
If he want’s to blow part of his fortune on a trip to space, he’s probably earned the right to do so. I wonder how many trees he’ll be planting to offset his carbon footprint this year?
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