Amazon boss Jeff Bezos will be stepping down as the company’s CEO in the third quarter of 2021. Bezos in a letter to Amazon employees states he will transition to become the Executive Chair.
In a letter to Amazon employees, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos recalled the company’s transformation from a tiny online bookseller into a retailing titan, and encouraged workers to continue “firing on all cylinders.”
Bezos, who announced on Tuesday that Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy would replace him sometime in the third quarter, boiled down his 27-year career at Amazon to one thing: invention.
“I don’t know of another company with an invention track record as good as Amazon’s,” he wrote. “I believe we are at our most inventive right now.”
Bezos said as executive chair of the board, he plans to be “engaged in important Amazon initiatives” but will turn much of his attention to his other projects including the Day 1 Fund, which aims to aid homeless families and build a network of preschools in underserved communities. He’ll also focus on the Bezos Earth Fund, his green initiative; Blue Origin, his space launch startup; and the Washington Post, which Bezos bought for $250 million in 2013.
Here’s the full letter that Bezos sent to Amazon employees:
I’m excited to announce that this Q3 I’ll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board and Andy Jassy will become CEO. In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence.
This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name. The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, “What’s the internet?” Blessedly, I haven’t had to explain that in a long while.
Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognized as one of the most successful companies in the world.
How did that happen? Invention. Invention is the root of our success. We’ve done crazy things together, and then made them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalized recommendations, Prime’s insanely-fast shipping, Just Walk Out shopping, the Climate Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, infrastructure cloud computing, Career Choice, and much more. If you get it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. And that yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive.
I don’t know of another company with an invention track record as good as Amazon’s, and I believe we are at our most inventive right now. I hope you are as proud of our inventiveness as I am. I think you should be.
As Amazon became large, we decided to use our scale and scope to lead on important social issues. Two high-impact examples: our $15 minimum wage and the Climate Pledge. In both cases, we staked out leadership positions and then asked others to come along with us. In both cases, it’s working. Other large companies are coming our way. I hope you’re proud of that as well.
I find my work meaningful and fun. I get to work with the smartest, most talented, most ingenious teammates. When times have been good, you’ve been humble. When times have been tough, you’ve been strong and supportive, and we’ve made each other laugh. It is a joy to work on this team.
As much as I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition. Millions of customers depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods. Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else. As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions. I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.
Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future. We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish. We serve individuals and enterprises, and we’ve pioneered two complete industries and a whole new class of devices. We are leaders in areas as varied as machine learning and logistics, and if an Amazonian’s idea requires yet another new institutional skill, we’re flexible enough and patient enough to learn it.
Keep inventing, and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy. Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1.
Revealed: How a CEO Went from Making $50k a Week to $50 k a Year
For most investors, their dream is to make a lot of money from their business before thinking about what to do with the excess. This was no the case with Australian CEO Ronni Kahn. She left her lucrative business that was paying her $50k a week to managing a charity that would pay her $50 k a year.
Before Ronni Kahn became the CEO of global food charity, OzHarvest, she owned an event management business – a role that would see her bring in around $50,000 a weekend.
Then, in 2009, she won Vodafone’s World of Difference award, which requires the recipient to work solely on a charity of their choice – in exchange for a salary of $50,000.
Having founded OzHarvest in 2003 and worked simultaneously on the charity and her business, she had to choose between a lucrative business, or a start-up charity.
“I decided it was time to dive without a parachute,” she revealed to The New Investors host, Sarah O’Carroll.
“I left a business that sometimes could have made $50,000 on a single weekend – but it was the best thing I ever did.”
Who is Ronni Kahn?
Ronni Kahn AO is an Australian social entrepreneur, best known for founding the food rescue charity OzHarvest.
Born in South Africa, Kahn moved to Israel where she lived on a kibbutz for many years before emigrating to Australia in 1998 and starting an events management business. On a vacation to South Africa, she was galvanised into action by a friend when visiting Soweto who told her that “she was responsible for electricity in Soweto”.
Kahn recalls that was the moment her life of purpose began. I knew I had to come back and do something meaningful for other people…”Building on her experience in corporate hospitality, she was shocked by the amount of food waste, although not initially aware of the relationship between food waste and environmental problems.
A Repurposed Life
Kahn’s memoir A Repurposed Life was released in 2020. Kahn said: “I didn’t grow up being ambitious about anything, but when you find your calling, then you are empowered by a force that is unstoppable.”
Ronni Kahn has been acknowledged as a leader in the fields of entrepreneurship, social impact and innovation. Her contributions have been widely recognised through numerous awards including:
- 2010 Australia’s Local Hero, Australian of the Year Awards, in recognition of her work founding OzHarvest.
- 2010 Enriched List, American Express
- 2011 InStyle Woman of Style Award – Community /Charity category
- 2012 Veuve Clicquot Award Business Woman Tribute Award for Innovation, Entrepreneurial Skill and Contribution to the Community
- 2012 Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year
- 2017 BOSS magazine Top 21 True Leaders
- 2017 Gourmet Traveller Outstanding Contribution to Hospitality
- 2017 Griffith University Doctor of the University (honoris causa)
- 2018 The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence award for social enterprise and not-for-profit
- 2019 Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). For distinguished service to social welfare, particularly through the development and delivery of innovative programs.
Forbes: No, Kanye West Is Not The Richest Black Person In America—And Here’s Why
Reports that the celebrity is worth nearly $7 billion are based on the magical thinking around sales that don’t yet exist. This is why he’s currently worth less than one third of that.
On Wednesday, multiple outlets reported that Kanye West is the richest Black person in America, worth as much as $6.6 billion. The news comes after Bloomberg reported that his sneaker brand, Yeezy—as well as Yeezy Gap, which has yet to sell one stitch of clothing—have a combined value of as much as $4.7 billion. The publication mentioned, without going into full detail, an additional $1.7 billion in assets.
It’s not true, based on our calculations. Forbes estimates he’s worth less than a third of that, or $1.8 billion. That’s a big jump from last May when Forbes first pegged his net worth to be $1.3 billion, but nowhere near as much as the purported $6.6 billion. Vista Equity’s Robert F. Smith remains the richest Black person in the U.S., worth an estimated $6 billion, while Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, worth $11.8 billion, is the richest Black person in the world.
The sky-high estimate is the latest of West’s attempts to inflate his net worth—in the past he’s said that Forbes was “purposely snubbing me.”
In actuality, it’s nothing personal. The Bloomberg story cites a UBS report on his businesses—the same document Forbes saw earlier this month. The bank made a number of assumptions based on projected future earnings, particularly for Yeezy Gap, which hasn’t even launched yet. Bank documents like this are well-known for painting best-possible-scenario future valuations.
Forbes’ much more grounded number is based on that old-fashioned idea of current revenues—not theoretical future expectations. Yeezy Gap has brought in no revenue, let alone any profits. Who knows if the line will be popular? Maybe another hip-hop star will create the next trendy sneaker in a year or two, and Yeezys will be old news. The same thinking goes for Yeezy Supply, West’s e-commerce platform. He has high hopes to turn it into a fashion destination—as of now, it just shills his shoes.
As for Yeezy sneakers, they’re selling crazy well. The company’s revenue grew 30% last year. and its most recent limited drop, the 450 in Cloud White, sold out in under a minute. Analysts with who we spoke agree there’s growth left in the business, and if that occurs, his net worth will continue to climb. But even that’s not 100% certain, so for now, we are sticking with 2020’s numbers.
Forbes is treating West the same way we do everyone else with similar royalty-based businesses: We take the most recent year’s licensing income and apply a multiple to it to account for the fact that this is an ongoing revenue stream. This is exactly how we value Donald Trump’s licensing businesses and Jay-Z’s music catalogue.
West’s wildly optimistic approach to his net worth mirrors the approach used by Donald Trump, who insists the value of his name be included in any net-worth estimate. Trump, whom we value at $2.5 billion, says his brand has an intrinsic value, regardless of actual revenue. West and his camp are making a similar argument for businesses attached to the Yeezy name.
Here’s a breakdown of Forbes’ estimate of his net worth—which is quite impressive, even if it’s not as high as he wants (or thinks) it to be:
Yeezy: $1.5 billion
Still the crown jewel of his fortune, sales of West’s sneaker brand, which has a ten-year-long production deal with Adidas, climbed to $1.7 billion last year, up from $1.3 billion in 2019. As a result, West earned $191 million in royalties last year. It’s impressive growth. While UBS predicts the brand will reach over $3 billion in sales by 2026, and valued it accordingly, we went with 2020 numbers: The operating income of Yeezy, which is 100% owned by West, was $214 million in 2020. With a 9x multiple and 20% private company discount, Forbes calculates that the Yeezy business with Adidas is worth $1.5 billion, about $250 million more than it was a year ago.
Cash and other assets: $160 million
Thanks to the millions he’s made from Yeezy and his music, West has accumulated a nice-size pile of cash, as well as homes and toys. He owns more than $100 million in real estate—including multiple ranches in Wyoming and homes in the Los Angeles area. According to a balance sheet sent over by his team, there’s also $9.3 million worth of artwork, $7.6 million worth of jewelry, $5 million worth of vehicles, $3.4 million worth of furniture and $1 million worth of livestock. Along the way, he has also racked up a significant amount of debt: $56 million. We couldn’t track down every horse, chair and necklace, so again applied a discount to the numbers provided. We also didn’t include any value for the website Yeezy Supply, which West’s camp claims is worth $1.5 billion. Forbes counts its value via royalties of the Yeezy shoe sales made through the site in the Adidas deal.
Music catalogue: $90 million
While he may make most of his money as a fashion mogul, West started out as one of the world’s most popular rappers, and his catalogue of songs still brings in millions in royalties each year. Just like with Yeezy, he could cash out on that royalty stream, as musicians from Shakira to Bob Dylan have in the last year.
Skims: $64 million
West and his soon-to-be ex-wife Kim Kardashian West may have ended their marital relationship, but they maintain certain business ties. West has a small stake in his ex’s shape wear and loungewear company Skims, which has grown during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yeezy x Gap: $0
While West’s team insists the Yeezy x Gap deal is worth about $1.5 billion and the Bloomberg story says it could be worth as much as $970 million, Forbes isn’t giving this any value until the products start to sell. The deal, announced in June, sent Gap’s stock soaring, and CEO Sonia Syngal spoke of its “big potential” in an earnings call earlier this month. But the line hasn’t sold one piece of clothing yet.
Source : Forbes
Patrice Motsepe elected CAF President
The task of projecting African football onto the global stage has begun following the election of Patrice Motsepe as CAF President by acclamation during the 43rd CAF Congress, which has taken place in Rabat, Morocco. Mr Motsepe will not only lead a revised African confederation, but an organisation that will see substantial change at CAF Executive Committee and FIFA Council level following various elections which have also been held.
Mathurin de Chacus (Benin), Isha Johansen (Sierra Leone), Fouzi Lekjaa (Morocco), Amaju Pinnick (Nigeria) and Mamoutou Touré (Mali) will all join Hany Abo Rida (Egypt) on FIFA’s Council, while Kanizat Ibrahim (Comoros) and Mbombo Njoya (Cameroon) were elected to the CAF Executive Committee. Other regional appointments were also made with Wadie Jary (Tunisia) elected to the northern zone and Elvis Raja Chetty (Seychelles) and Maclean Letshwiti (Botswana) both elected to represented southern zone.
“Africa needs collective wisdom, but also the exceptional talent and work of every (national football association) president and every member nation,” new CAF President Patrice Motsepe said. “When we all work together, football in Africa will experience success and growth that it has not enjoyed in the past.”
It is a position fully endorsed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who also took the opportunity to congratulate all the presidential election candidates on their collective vision and team spirit.
“I would like to congratulate Patrice Motsepe for his wisdom, his engagement, for his passion,” the FIFA President said. “I want to wish all the very best for the next four years, to the new leading team of CAF, of African football, and to Patrice Motsepe, to all those who have been involved, to Augustin Senghor, Ahmed Yahya, Jacques Anouma, who will now have important roles in CAF’s administration. You all want a strong and united Africa, projecting itself forward. It is thanks to you, it is your decision, your wish, your hope and your ambition. I want to assure you that FIFA is not at your side, FIFA is together with you.”
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