In his final CEO letter, Amazon’s Bezos looks beyond the shareholder model

The note is a prime example of how big corporations are balancing the traditional priority of shareholder gains with the rise of employee experience and stakeholder capitalism.

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There’s no denying that Jeff Bezos is a fine writer—and his skill with the written word is on display in his final note as CEO of Amazon. He will transition to executive chairman after decades spent building the online retail giant into the fourth most valuable brand in the world.

His note to shareholders starts with a look backward, acknowledging the great strides made since the company went public in 1997.

He writes:

In Amazon’s 1997 letter to shareholders, our first, I talked about our hope to create an “enduring franchise,” one that would reinvent what it means to serve customers by unlocking the internet’s power. I noted that Amazon had grown from having 158 employees to 614, and that we had surpassed 1.5 million customer accounts. We had just gone public at a split-adjusted stock price of $1.50 per share. I wrote that it was Day 1.

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