“You shouldn’t believe everything you read.”
Among the laughter of the audience, Andy Jassy – CEO of Amazon – this is how he answered a question from Andrew Sorkin about Amazon’s leaks related to Alexawhich according to Business Insider is a flop and does not produce income.
Jassy’s exit it also surprised social media users a lotif we consider that it took place in the spotlight of an event organized by New York Times, considered among the most authoritative newspapers in the world. And taking into account, also, the fact that Jeff Bezosthe founder of Amazon whose chair Jassy has taken over, is the owner of a newspaper, the Washington Postwho made battle at fake news di Trump a slogan that still resists today on its masthead: “Democracy Dies in Darkness”.
Jassy, after his joke, explained that the Alexa’s moment of trouble it doesn’t worry him.
“I’m actually very optimistic about our device business – he said – Alexa actually drives e-commerce a lot. If we had tried to build the best smart speaker in the world, we would have made a different investment, but we we want to build the best AI assistant in the world, and that requires another investment. We believe in our vision, but it’s certainly not a vision that takes a handful of years to realize. It’s one of the biggest bets we’ve made.” .
Sorkin, creator of the DealBook Summit which led to New York, among others, too Mark Zuckerberg e Sam Bankman-Friedthe former CEO of the platform for the FTX cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy, he pressed Jassy on Amazon’s recent layoffs, which could total 10 thousand employees. “When did you realize they were needed?” she asked.
“We are in the period where we are planning how we will spend next year – replied Jassy – We realized that we had to rationalize costs and that we had to cut without compromising strategic sectors of the company. I would redo the many hirings made during the pandemic period, I think it was the right decision at the time. But I also think that what happened taught us precisely this: that it is right to think, even when things are going very well, that a radical change could take place. And therefore perhaps it would be better to be slightly more conservative.” .
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Jassy referred several times in the course of the conversation, to an uncertain economy.
“If we think about 2020 – he said – the large distribution chains grew by 39% compared to the previous year. Something extraordinary that forced us to spend money, a lot of money to quickly build the infrastructure necessary to face that period. And then last year, these days, we thought we were out of the pandemic and instead came the Omnicrom variant, the war in Ukraine and inflation and now we are facing a very uncertain economy. Amazon is facing problems like so many other companies. trying to understand how consumers, who are now spending very carefully, are adapting to this period”.
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Then Andy Jassy told how he took over from Jeff Bezos at the helm of Amazonwith a couple of interesting anecdotes.
“Jeff wrote me a note at the time, saying he wanted to talk to me on the phone. Which is quite unusual for him. Usually he just writes me what he wants to do. He told me he wanted to do something different and that he had thought about me as the future CEO of Amazon. I spent the rest of the conversation asking him, “Are you sure?”
“Then I asked my wife for advice before accepting – added Jassy – Because one of the greatest lessons I’ve received from life is that every time I’ve made a decision on my own, without consulting her, it didn’t work. He told me that he agreed in a Seattle restaurant, after a long conversation. It was raining, we were the last to leave.”