It’s no secret that Jeff Bezos will soon hand over the Amazon torch to Andy Gacy. But a few days before he left, the founder of the e-commerce giant decided to add two principles to Amazon’s business philosophy.
With Jassy officially becoming Amazon’s new CEO on July 5, this could be Bezos’ last act as head of his concerns.
The e-commerce company has had a list of “Leadership Principles” since its inception. They must guide their employees in their decisions and the goals they set for themselves. We find in the list, among other things, “Customer ObsessionAgain, but also ‘innovate and simplify’ and ‘learn and be curious’.
So far there have been 14 — most of which were drafted when Bezos founded the company and wrote it himself — but there are now 16.
“The best employer on the planet”
The first principle that Amazon added to the list in July is to “strive to become the best employer on the planet.” The company calls on its leaders to “work every day for a safer, more productive, successful, diverse and fair work environment.” They are also required to run the company with “sympathy”, “enjoy the work” and “make it easier for others to have fun”.
This addition comes after a series of scandals that have surfaced on Amazon in recent months. The company has been heavily criticized for the working conditions of its employees. In particular, the e-commerce giant has been accused of forcing delivery drivers to pee and defecate in their cars. Although Amazon was quick to deny this, Bezos himself acknowledged in his last letter as CEO to shareholders that efforts should be made for future employees.
Tensions also escalated in the spring when the majority of workers at Amazon’s Alabama branch voted against creating a union. Amazon used all possible means to prevent the formation of the union.
“With success and growth comes great responsibility”
Bezos added a second principle to the list: “We have an impact on the world and we are far from perfect.” As the world’s number one e-commerce company, Bezos must also act accordingly.
“We must be humble and thoughtful, even about the side effects of our actions. Our local communities, our planet, and future generations need us to be better every day,” Amazon said via its blog. “Leaders create more than they consume and always leave things better than they found them.”
This principle appears to be a response to the pressure that regulators around the world are putting on the company due to its unstoppable growth and absorption of businesses. The giant is regularly accused of monopolistic practices. In the United States in particular, the attorney general in Washington, DC, recently initiated antitrust proceedings against Amazon.
Since this principle and its interpretations remain somewhat vague, it can also be interpreted as a promise by Amazon, which is known to pay less taxes, take on more financial responsibility or even move toward a more sustainable future.