Weekly Wreck

Amazon - Beginning of the End Game?

Many CEOs forget that their companies are successful only because the laws and regulations as enforced enable them to be so. Often small tweaks in how a regulation is enforced or the dusting off by a prosecutor of some long forgotten law will put the very existence of what had been a successful and prosperous firm at risk.

Many companies have over the years found out how important it is to pay the "lobbying tax" and most importantly, play both sides of the aisle – no matter which party is in power. Amazon appears to be the next corporation to learn these lessons. Being big like Amazon is going to make a firm enemies no matter what. Their growth is someone else’s loss. The trick is to minimize the problem, not compound it.

Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, has compounded the issue by becoming the owner of the Washington Post. A paper which the President and many other members of his party are less than happy with. Indeed if one were to imagine the best way to impact the political world far beyond the level of allowable donations and creating PACs, buying, maybe even saving, a major influential paper like the Post would be it. But such power comes at a price.

Unless Mr. Bezos decides and is able to tone down, or better yet eliminate the content which is upsetting the President and his supporters he will continue to find he has created the most dangerous type of enemy for any type of company and its CEO, the politician. In the last two months, alone tweets by President Trump have caused Amazon’s stock to lose nearly $100 in value. The likelihood of ongoing investigations, regulatory findings, and even an enforced breakup of Amazon become more and more likely with each passing day.

The job of a CEO is to act as a good steward for the funds investors have entrusted to him. The job of a CEO is not to promote a particular political path he or she may favor. Mr. Bezos needs to decide, does he wish to remain CEO of Amazon, or does he want to be a political player, Amazon’s investors deserve nothing less.