The tax-avoiding ‘Bond villain’ who’s trying to take over the world: His insatiable lust for money has seen Amazon boss Jeff Bezos amass a £40billion fortune
From The Daily Mail:
Ambitious New Year’s Resolutions are always a hostage to fortune, so credit where credit’s due to the American billionaire Jeff Bezos.
The intensely driven founder and boss of Amazon, the world’s biggest internet retailer, evidently wrote ‘Take over the world’ some time ago on the top of his ‘to do’ list.
And every year appears to take him and his controversial business empire one step closer to that goal.
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This week it was the turn of both British supermarkets and Hollywood film studios to come under his covetous gaze — the company has quietly been making some successful drama series for some time, but is now planning to up its game.
‘We want to win an Oscar,’ Bezos told a German newspaper with typical self-confidence. ‘Amazon has already won Golden Globes and Emmys.
Our current target is to produce 16 home movies a year.’ If that wasn’t enough empire-expanding, a few days later, Christopher North, Amazon’s UK boss, put the thumbscrews on the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda by announcing it will dramatically expand the range of groceries it sells.
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Amazon Pantry, launched in November, offers customers a range of 4,000 food and household products, charging £2.99 to deliver a large box.
Fresh food — already delivered to Amazon customers in New York and Los Angeles — is expected to be next on the agenda with London targeted soon, followed by cities across the world.
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Bezos, 51, is also a magician with his own finances. The self-proclaimed champion of the consumer pays himself a salary of just £57,000 yet, according to the latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he managed to double his personal fortune in 2015 to around £40 billion after a single year of rocketing sales figures.
As owner of 18 per cent of Amazon, he is reckoned to be the fourth richest man in the world, comfortably beating the founders of Facebook and Google.
It’s not hard to see why. Quite apart from Amazon’s global reach, Bezos is unlike his Silicon Valley rivals who pontificate about the internet’s mission to connect people and increase the sum of human knowledge — he doesn’t try to hide the fact that it’s really all about making money.
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The usual spin on Bezos’s notorious stinginess is to say he is an ardent believer in self-reliance, a value that was instilled in him in childhood.
The child of teenage parents in New Mexico, who broke up within a year of his birth, Bezos was four when his mother married Mike Bezos, an engineer who fled Cuba as a boy.
Young Jeff displayed a passion for dismantling things from an early age when he took apart his cot as a toddler. He fell in love with computing but went to work for a New York hedge fund.
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He is a father of four with his wife, a novelist named MacKenzie Bezos, and the couple say they are determined not to let their children become isolated by their enormous wealth.
Although the family live in a secluded $28 million home on Lake Washington, Mrs Bezos is often seen tootling around the neighbourhood in a modest Honda people carrier.
She says her husband provides enormously useful input by reading her manuscripts at single sittings and then giving her copious notes on her work.
She must be about the only novelist who has a good word for him. Most loathe him for the damage they say he is doing to publishing.
Link to the rest at The Daily Mail and thanks to Barb for the tip.
PG says a small obstacle like the Atlantic Ocean is no barrier for Amazon Derangement Syndrome to leap from New York to London.
PG read The Daily Mail very sporadically, if at all, prior to starting The Passive Voice. He can’t think of any US paper that is quite the same, although he doesn’t profess to be an expert on
The National Enquirer New York Post. The only content he remembers from the Enquirer Post is one of its headlines, “Headless Body in Topless Bar.”