In first letter to shareholders, Amazon CEO sticks to Bezos playbook

Introducing the new boss’ goals! Spoiler, these are the same as the former boss’ goals.

In his first letter to shareholders as CEO of Amazon, Andy Jassy echoes most of the same notes as Jeff Bezos in his farewell letter last April.

Like Bezos – who stepped down to focus on his spaceflight company Blue Origin and, to a lesser extent, philanthropy – Jassy tells a metrics-based story in the shareholder letter, noting the company’s incremental progress in tasks such as moving an item from a fulfillment center to a place on a truck (an 18-hour process in the early 2000s, now two hours).

Jassy also takes this approach to touting Amazon’s progress toward becoming “Earth’s Greatest Employer,” a goal Bezos set out in his last letter and which Amazon has codified as one of its “leadership principles.” formalities, as well as a commitment to sustainability, a few days before Jassy takes over. as CEO.

“In the latest US public numbers, our recordable incident rates were a little higher than the average for our warehousing peers (6.4 vs. 5.5) and a little lower than the average for our courier peers. and delivery (7.6 vs. 9.1),” writes Jassy.

“It puts us in the middle of our peers, but we’re not looking to be middle-of-the-road,” he says. “We want to be top of the class” – which he will do by “learning, inventing and iterating until we have more transformational results”.

Jassy, ​​however, does not mention the vote to unionize Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, the first such union victory at the company. And while the letter talks about Amazon raising its minimum hourly wage for warehouse workers to $15 and then $18, it doesn’t cover compensation for delivery couriers working on a piece-rate basis through the Flex program that Amazon has. launched in 2015.

The Amazon delivery appears in Jassy’s discussion of Amazon’s environmental sustainability efforts, in which he highlights ordering 100,000 battery-electric pickup trucks; the former began making deliveries last February, but the letter offers no new details on their rollout. Jassy also notes that more than 300 companies have signed up to Amazon’s climate pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, up from 53 cited last year.

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Jassy also testifies to Amazon’s allocation of $1.2 billion in affordable housing assistance in markets with a strong Amazon component such as its headquarters in Seattle, its HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia, and its operations center. near Nashville.

The latest project to get detailed mention in the letter is Project Kuiper, its initiative to launch and operate a constellation of broadband satellites in low Earth orbit to compete with SpaceX’s Starlink. Jassy says Kuiper will be able to connect 300 to 400 million people who today have “minimal to no” wired access, but admits its more than $10 billion start-up costs could be hard to recoup. “We are optimistic that there is a very good business model for us too, but we will see,” he wrote.

The letter ends with the tagline stay humble that Bezos has used in previous shareholder letters, dating back to his first memo from 1997: “It’s still Day 1.”

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