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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Bezos’

A Few Reasons Why the Ice Bucket Challenge Has Been So Popular with CEOs

jeff bezos ice bucketEvery time you turn on the internet, someone’s dumping a bucket of cold H2O over their heads. It’s the the ALS ice bucket challenge and it’s for a good cause so go right ahead. A million times yes. As of Sunday, the challenge has raised $70.2 million.

Lots of ordinary folk are doing it. Of course, celebrities are getting in on the action. But surprisingly, a ton of CEOs are also doing it. From Mark Zuckerberg to Jeff Bezos, top executives from some big companies are getting in on the viral philanthropy action. This isn’t normal. So what gives?

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Amazon Goes ‘Orwellian,’ Fails Literature 101

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In case you missed it, Amazon is currently going through something of a rough patch.

The company recently started very public fights with Hachette, Disney and some of the world’s most popular novelists in an attempt to drive down prices on books and DVDs — all while warning investors that it lost $126 million in the second quarter alone and that its total 2014 losses could be close to one billion dollars.

Its latest offense, however, is a classic in the annals of corporate messaging obfuscation.

In short, the company truly earned the grossly overused label “Orwellian” for misquoting (who else but) George Orwell himself.

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Amazon Ordered a Sunday Night Drone Strike on the Retail World

Why do bald men always make the best evil geniuses?

You’re probably still scrolling through emails from clients upset that Amazon trumped whatever Cyber Monday promo stunt they had planned with last night’s drone delivery service “reveal.”

They’re not wrong, you know; if you were psychic, you would have been able to sense CEO Jeff Bezos thinking “Go ahead and beat this, I dare you” while smirking at the rest of the retail world in the 60 Minutes segment below. Show us the money, Charlie Rose:

One must admire the brass balls on display here, but we’re gonna have to burst your fragile bubble: of course it’s all just a big, brilliant stunt.

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Brad Stone Responds to MacKenzie Bezos: Can an Amazon Review Double as Damage Control?

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Today in Shoot That Messenger Dead news: nobody likes unflattering articles written about their companies—much less unflattering books. As many hacks and flacks now know, Jeff Bezos‘ wife MacKenzie wrote a long, scathing one-star review of Brad Stone‘s The Everything Store, which claims to be a tell-all about the Amazon CEO and (we assume) his various ethical offenses.

It’s been getting a lot of attention online, and the fact that it’s transparent helps as MacKenzie Bezos makes sure to remind readers who she is:

…I have firsthand knowledge of many of the events. I worked for Jeff at D. E. Shaw, I was there when he wrote the business plan…and [we] have been married for 20 years.

Some of the review and the comments of others read like Amazon fanfiction by focusing on all the grateful employees who Stone declined to mention—and so far most who have read the book praise it. But her basic point is that the author sells his product as a look inside Bezos’ mind despite the fact that the CEO himself played no part in its creation:

…readers should remember that Jeff was never interviewed for this book, and should also take note of how seldom these guesses about his feelings and motives are marked with a footnote indicating there is any other source to substantiate them…Hollywood often uses a more honest label: “a story based on true events.”

One undeniable fact: the review has inspired more coverage than the book itself. So was it a successful damage control effort?

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Amazon Flack’s Comment on How Often He Makes Comments: ‘No Comment’

Tucked away in this weekend’s nth “What Will Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Do with The Washington Post?” article lies a less-than-subtle hint at the company’s media relations strategy:

Ha ha. Jim Romenesko even asks “Does Amazon’s spokesperson have the world’s easiest job? (All he ever says is ‘no comment.’)”

We don’t know that we’d go that far, but it’s safe to say that Bezos and Co. follow the Bill Belichick “keep it boring” model to a T. And yes, Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener does make liberal use of the phrase in question. Their company’s PR team has determined that it’s best to simply put up and shut up whenever possible.

Here are some other key quotes about Bezos, his management style and his approach to media relations:

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The Return On Jeff Bezos’ Investment In “The Washington Post” Could Be Huge

Jeff Bezos‘ purchase of The Washington Post reconfirms that the newspaper industry is hurting, that the media industry is still in a state of flux, and that no matter how digital content gets, we still have a soft spot for ink. A venerable, old school newspaper that was founded in 1877 was bought by someone who has made their fortune in e-commerce and the news took over Twitter, with “WaPo,” “Washington Post,” and “Jeff Bezos” all trending at some point in the past 24 hours. It truly shows how mixed up and tremendous the media is right now.

As with any change at a media outlet, we wait to see if there will be shifts in the newsroom. Publicists who pitch WaPo are likely preparing for any changes to their media relations strategy. And we can’t forget that there are other properties impacted by this sale. The Root, Slate, and a number of other newspapers and properties are being separated from their anchor, which could also affect their futures. Though we can’t forget that the anchor lost 44 percent of its operating revenue in the past six years.

Clearly, this deal gives The Washington Post the opportunity to not just hover on the edge of survival, but to actually thrive. For Bezos, the paper’s success would reap more than just monetary fortunes.

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‘Cubes’ Takes a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Audible

In this episode of “Cubes,” we take a behind-the-scenes tour of Audible.com. The Amazon-owned audiobook company is headquartered in the heart of Newark, NJ and its office has played host to Jeff Bezos and George R.R. Martin, among other literary luminaries, as well as a ton of top-flight voice actors who narrate Audible’s books in state-of-the-art studios.

For more videos, check out Mediabistro.tv, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Kindle Fire a ‘Service,’ Not a Tablet

Photo: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg

When Jeff Bezos announced Amazon’s new Kindle products today he presented them with this message, “What we are doing is offering premium products at non-premium prices… We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service.”

Of course, many of the news stories today have compared the Kindle Fire to the iPad, noting the big differences between the two. One is obviously a couple hundred bucks and the other costs much more. Nevertheless, Reuters focuses on Barnes & Noble, which may take a big hit on the e-reader front.

Bezos made sly references to the iPad, but largely focused on what the Kindle Fire can do — it has apps, games, email capabilities, and more.

What do you think of positioning the Kindle Fire as a service rather than a tablet? The comments section is open.

[image via Bloomberg]

Amazon Protests California Taxes

If Seattle-based Amazon doesn’t get its way with the state of California, it may be taking its toys and going home.

Reuters and other news outlets reported late Thursday that the huge online retailer promised the California State Legislature it would open a warehouse in California and create 7,000 jobs if the state would hold off on demanding sales tax for two years. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that would have required Amazon to start collecting a 7.25 percent base tax on online purchases by today.

California organizations and some lawmakers are against the deal. Amazon has sweetened the pot by saying it would also stop pushing for a repeal of the sales tax law.

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