Who is the Founder of Amazon?

Updated:24 Aug, 2022

One of the richest people in the world is Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Although Bezos and Amazon are well-known brands thanks to his numerous other business ventures, which include sending actors William Shatner and Michael Strahan into space with his sub-orbital rocket company, Blue Origin, the former Amazon CEO was born into poverty.

Bezos' entrepreneurial spirit was greatly influenced by his father, Miguel Bezos, who immigrated to the United States from Cuba. Being an immigrant's child, Bezos' rise to prominence is a great American achievement. For more information on how Bezos transformed Amazon into what it is today, keep scrolling.

How was Amazon Founded?

By most people's standards, former CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos was already very successful in 1994. The then-30-year-old Princeton University graduate was already earning an estimated six-figure income and was poised to advance even further in the company ranks when he became the youngest-ever senior vice president at Wall Street investment firm DE Shaw & Co. Bezos, though, had other ideas.

Bezos dreamed of founding his own business in the vast, at the time largely unexplored wilds of the World Wide Web, spurred on by a secret passion for the nascent industry of electronic shopping. Although it was a gamble, it quickly paid off. Four years after Bezos launched Amazon.com, the online retailer quickly became the standard for how e-commerce companies should operate, with sales of more than $610 million and more than 13 million customers worldwide.

In 1994, Bezos originally had the notion to launch an online business. When DE Shaw was searching the Internet for new businesses to invest in, he came across a figure stating that monthly growth in World Wide Web usage was 2,300%. Bezos started looking into the commercial opportunities of starting an internet business as soon as he saw the vast potential of online sales.

He compiled a list of 20 potential products, including software, CDs, and books, that he believed would do well on the Internet. After going over the list, it became clear that books were the best option, mostly due to the sheer amount of titles that are available. Bezos understood that a "virtual" bookshop could provide millions of titles, whereas even the biggest superstores could only hold a small number of books—a minuscule fraction of what is accessible. The dice were rolled. Bezos declined a sizeable bonus in favor of packing his wife MacKenzie, and their dog Kamala, and moving to Seattle.

Bezos and a group of five employees worked out of the garage for over a year while learning how to find books and setting up the computer system that would make it simple to explore Amazon.com. 

Being a genuine marketing genius, Bezos intended to construct a "virtual community" where users could "hang out" in addition to developing a user-friendly interface that would simplify the "needle in a haystack" procedure that bookstore shopping frequently requires. He and his team developed a number of cutting-edge tools to accomplish this, such as a tool that allows users to post their own book reviews to the website and one that makes book recommendations based on previous purchases.

With more than 1 million books available, Amazon.com dubbed itself "Earth's Biggest Book Store" when it first opened its virtual doors in July 1995. Amazon.com took off like a nitro-burning dragster, propelled by word-of-mouth, or more precisely, word-of-e-mail. Internet customers ecstatically promoted Amazon.com on Internet newsgroups and mailing lists because of the vast range of books, the excellent customer service, and the user-friendly design of the website.

Orders flooded in, and by September 1996, Amazon.com had expanded to a workforce of 100 people and had generated more than $15.7 million in revenue. Three years later, those numbers would soar to over 3,000 workers (some of whom were in Britain and Germany) and over $610 million in revenue.

Barnes & Noble, the world's largest retailer of books, took notice of Amazon's success and swiftly launched its own website. Barnes & Noble launched an intensive marketing campaign announcing that they supplied twice as many books as Amazon to counter Amazon's claim that it was the "Earth's Biggest Bookstore." However, it was a tactic that was guaranteed to fail. Amazon's product list was already expanded to include CDs, and the slogan "Books, Music, and More" took the place of "Earth's Biggest Book Store," leaving Barnes & Noble "wrapping its fingers around the neck of a ghost," in the words of one writer.

Amazon set its sights on dominating all of online retail even though it had already beaten its nearest rival. Amazon was estimated to have a 37 percent market share of all online retail sales in 2019 as a result of its aggressive acquisition and growth strategy. Amazon purchased a stake in Drugstore.com, a company that offers everything from breath mints to Viagra online, at the end of January 1999 in order to compete in the $150 billion U.S. pharmacy market. Since then, they have expanded their presence in the healthcare industry. Amazon purchased PillPack, an online full-service pharmacy, in 2018. Additionally, Bezos established Amazon Web Services, which offers on-demand cloud computing platforms, in addition to Amazon's ongoing growth. He also owns The Washington Post in addition to his many other business ventures.

The Percentage of Amazon That Jeff Bezos Owns:

The Amazon employee, who had previously owned 16 percent of the business, sold $8.8 billion worth of his company's stock in July 2021 after resigning as CEO to take on the role of executive chairman. Despite now owning less than 10% of the business, Forbes estimates his net worth to be a staggering $171 billion.

In 2019, Bezos and his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott underwent a highly public divorce before he resigned as CEO. MacKenzie earned 4% of Amazon in the $38 billion deal after 25 years of marriage. Following their divorce, MacKenzie wed Seattle teacher Dan Jewett in March 2021, while the founder of Amazon has been dating girlfriend Lauren Sanchez since 2019.

What is Jeff Bezos Now Up To?

With more free time now, Bezos is naturally charitable thanks to his Bezos Family Foundation, but he is still deeply involved in the criticism that affluent firms like his face about corporate taxes.

In fact, as emotions over inflation mount, president Joe Biden criticized groups like his on Twitter. "Do you want to lower inflation? On May 13, 2022, President Biden tweeted, "Let's make sure the biggest corporations pay their fair share. Bezos responded, "Raising corp taxes is OK to consider. Talking about taming inflation is essential. Misdirection results from combining them."

Bezos disagrees that large corporations are to blame for inflation, despite the fact that Amazon did not pay federal income tax in 2017 or 2018. "They are aware that inflation mostly affects those in need. But neither affluent individuals nor unions are to blame for the inflation," Bezos responded to the Biden administration and the White House by adding.

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