Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has now jumped ahead of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Bin in terms of who has amassed the highest level of personal wealth, but Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is having a much less impressive week. On July 24, 2014, The Washington Post reported that Amazon’s second quarter stats show its largest quarterly loss since 2012 in the amount of some $126 million. By comparison, the estimated loss was only expected to be around $66.7 million.
After hours trading sent Amazon stock plummeting more than 11% almost instantly. And all this loss of wealth occurred on Bezos’s watch, even though Amazon has seen a massive surge in sales during the past three months and a 23% increase in revenues. When contacted for a comment on the Amazon debacle, Facebook spokesman Tucker Bounds offered no comment as did Google’s Tim Drinan. Perhaps they want to keep their secret to success just that, a secret.
But many marketing analysts are blaming Bezos directly. The allegations include his tendency to have too many irons in the proverbial fire all at the same time. Take, for example, the appropriately named Amazon Fire Smartphone, a $199 contraption that allows the user to snap an image of any product from anywhere at any time for instant retrieval and purchase on Amazon. It was instantly and globally panned by critics.
Under Besos’s direction, Amazon has entered into the world of movies and television shows rentals through its Prime memberships, services designed to compete with and dethrone the industry leader of Netflix. Amazon sold $2.46 billion in digital media last year, including books, but the company spent some $2.2 billion on the technology. This is not a substantial profit margin for the world’s first mass marketer of reading paraphernalia.
But Besos is showing no signs of concern. His dedication to long term rewards is well documented in the press. But when compared to those of the likes of Zuckerberg, Page, Bin, and Gates, the differences are more than a little cause for concern for shareholders.