Written by Devin Chu
Where can someone buy uranium, a prefabricated home, and 1,500 live ladybugs for only $36,043, all in one place? Answer: Amazon, the e-commerce giant. It is no secret that Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, is the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of over $100 billion. In founding Amazon, Mr. Bezos has had much success. In recent months, however, he has faced media scrutiny regarding his divorce from his now ex-wife, MacKenzie Tuttle. Now, Mr. Bezos is moving on with current girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, a news anchor and entertainment reporter. As a result of this recent drama, the media spotlight has focused in on Amazon and Jeff Bezos himself.
Jeff Bezos faces scrutiny from social media with regards to his character and ethics as a business leader, father, and husband. Since the eleven-page National Enquirer article exposed his romantic involvement with Ms. Sanchez, Mr. Bezos’ reputation has taken a hit. Coupled with its decision to cancel its plans to build a new headquarters in New York, Amazon hasn’t had the best fortune in recent months. But since the news of Bezos’ divorce and new relationship surfaced in early January, Amazon’s stock price rose from around $1,500 per share to over $1,800 per share as of the middle of March.
One explanation as to this phenomenon involves the way Jeff Bezos criticized the media and its alleged invasion of his privacy to defend himself. When faced with cheating allegations, Bezos questioned the ethics and legality of the National Enquirer’s process of acquiring his sexts, which he painted as extortion. This Bezos scandal has also shed positive light on just how much Amazon has grown over the years. Amazon is worth $134 billion, and is the most valuable company on the planet. It employs more than 600,000 people, which makes the company’s size similar to the population of Montenegro.
While most have heard of Jeff Bezos in one way or another, they may not know MacKenzie Tuttle and the instrumental role she played in Amazon’s founding years. When Mr. Bezos was working on Amazon’s business plan before he founded the multi-billion dollar company, Ms. Tuttle was right alongside him, even serving as Amazon’s first accountant. She was also involved in its early business plans, playing a key part in Amazon’s transformation from a small online bookseller to an e-commerce giant. As Amazon grew rapidly, MacKenzie Bezos would switch her focus towards her successful career as a novelist while raising their four children.
Although this is still a controversial cheating scandal, it has given the public the opportunity to remember Amazon’s founding history and appreciate its success. Amazon not only revolutionized the way the average consumer purchases, but also revolutionized the market, slowly squeezing out brick-and-mortar stores. While this scandal negatively impacted Jeff Bezos’ image, it gave his ex-wife and company a platform. How radioactive is this crisis? Barely radioactive at all.