After conquering Earth, Bezos envisions a new frontier in space, Telecom News, ET Telecom

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Washington: Jeff Bezos is setting his sights on a new frontier in space in the coming days after building a gargantuan business empire that in many ways conquered Earth.

His trip to space aboard a reusable rocket built by his company Blue Origin comes just two weeks after he left the management of Amazon, which went from a garage startup to one of the companies. the most formidable in the world.

Bezos, 57, remains executive chairman of the tech and e-commerce colossus he founded 27 years ago. But he is clearly aiming for even higher ambitions.

With a fortune of over $ 200 billion, Bezos has been on top or near the richest people in the world, even after his divorce settlement.

It owns around 10 percent of Amazon, a giant with operations in dozens of countries and some 1.3 million employees.

But Bezos often talks about his humble beginnings: born to a teenage mother in Albuquerque, New Mexico and adopted at age four by his Cuban immigrant stepfather.

Bezos was drawn to computer science when the computer industry was in its infancy and studied engineering at Princeton University.

After graduation, he put his skills to work for Wall Street, where in 1990 he became senior vice president of investment firm DE Shaw.

But about four years later, he surprised his peers by quitting his high-paying job to open an online bookstore called Amazon.com, supported by his parents’ money.

‘Continue to invent’

In his farewell letter to staff, Bezos said the company had succeeded by following its mantra: “Keep inventing and don’t despair when the idea seems crazy at first.”

In public appearances, Bezos often recounts the early days of Amazon, when he himself prepared orders and drove boxes to the post office.

Today, Amazon has a market value of over $ 1.8 trillion. It posted annual revenues of $ 386 billion in 2020 from operations in e-commerce, cloud computing, grocery shopping, artificial intelligence, streaming media and more.

“Bezos has been a transformational leader … in the book sales, retail market, cloud computing and home delivery,” said Darrell West, senior researcher at the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution.

“He was a pioneer who introduced a lot of amenities that people take for granted, like going to an online store, ordering something, and having it delivered to their doorstep the next day. The entire e-commerce industry owes a lot of money. his innovations to this individual. “

Bezos “had the instinct for the right thing” to find the next market, said Roger Kay, analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.

Kay said Bezos skillfully moved from books to other commodities to an online marketplace and successfully built the cloud infrastructure for the business that became the highly profitable Amazon web services.

Amazon outlived its rivals by forgoing profits in its early years “and reinvesting everything back into the expansion,” Kay said.

“If you look at the trajectory now, it all made sense,” Kay added. “You can tell Bezos was one of the best corporate architects of his time.”

Bezos has been fascinated by space ever since he watched the Apollo moon landing in 1969 as a child and considers space important to the future of the planet.

He spoke about the possibility of humans living in space colonies, drawing ideas from science fiction writers as well as scientists.

“We humans have to go to space if we are to continue to have a thriving civilization,” Bezos said in an interview with CBS News in 2019.

“We have grown big as a population, as a species, and this planet is relatively small. We see it in things like climate change, pollution and heavy industry. We are destroying this planet. … we must preserve this planet. “

Lasting legacy

Bezos is moving away from the day-to-day management of Amazon to spend more time on projects like Blue Origin.

He owns the Washington Post newspaper and has dedicated time and funds to efforts to combat climate change.

While Amazon has bragged about its $ 15 minimum wage and other perks, critics say its relentless focus on efficiency and worker oversight has treated employees like machines.

The Teamsters union recently launched a campaign to organize Amazon workers, claiming its workers “face dehumanizing, dangerous and poorly paid jobs, with high turnover and no voice at work.”

Bezos appeared to address workers’ concerns earlier this year when he called for a “better vision” for employees after a deadly battle over a union vote in Alabama, which ultimately failed.

He set a new goal for the company to be “the best employer on Earth and the safest workplace on Earth,” in his latest letter as CEO.

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