Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo by Bloomberg
The Briefing
Amazon

Bezos Shows the Limits to Amazon’s Customer Obsession: The Information’s Tech Briefing

Photo: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo by Bloomberg

Among the dozen or so leadership principles that Amazon employees are expected to learn and operate by, “customer obsession” is the first, and, in many ways, the most sacred. In more than two decades following the company, I can’t think of a time when I heard an executive bash an Amazon customer, and certainly not in any kind of public way.

Yet there was Jeff Bezos on his Instagram account on Sunday posting a screenshot of a racist email he received from an Amazon customer who was upset over the Amazon CEO’s statements in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. “And, Dave, you’re the kind of customer I’m happy to lose,” wrote Bezos, who concealed the author’s last name.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing Uber/Lyft Cloud
Microsoft’s Dubious Cloud Growth Tactic
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photo by Bloomberg.
One of the more eyebrow-raising stories of this week, in a week full of big tech news, was that Microsoft is considering investing in India-based hotel chain Oyo. If true—and Microsoft declined to comment on the report, which appeared first in TechCrunch—it would be a truly bizarre use of the software giant’s cash resources. Forget, for a minute, that running budget hotels is about as far...
Latest Briefs
 
Microsoft Is ‘Primary Antagonist’ in DOJ’s Google Antitrust Case - Google Lawyer
Microsoft in Talks to Invest in Oyo at $9 Billion Valuation
Alibaba-Owned Turkish E-Commerce Site Trendyol Valued at $16.5 Billion
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Zhang Lei (left) and Neil Shen. Photos by Bloomberg; AP
Exclusive Venture Capital Asia
Sequoia Capital vs. Hillhouse: Inside China’s Fiercest Investor Rivalry
Last fall, Sequoia Capital China, the Silicon Valley VC firm’s affiliate led by investor Neil Shen, pledged to invest $400 million in a new funding round for Full Truck Alliance, China’s “Uber for trucks.” Days later, Zhang Lei, the rival head of private-equity giant Hillhouse Capital Group, flew to Nanjing, met Full Truck’s CEO over dinner and arranged a $110 million investment in the same round, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Salesforce president and chief operating officer Bret Taylor at a Salesforce conference in 2019. Photo provided by Salesforce
Enterprise Startups
Bret Taylor Faces His Biggest Test at Salesforce
Five years ago, Salesforce paid $750 million to buy a startup called Quip that made an internet-based word processor and spreadsheet app meant to give Microsoft’s competing Office products a run for their money.
Producers of Group Nine's short film "Two Distant Strangers" at the Oscars. Photo by AP.
Exclusive Entertainment
How Vice, Vox and BuzzFeed Are Cashing In on the Streaming Boom
“Land of the Giants” is a podcast series from Vox Media’s Recode covering the history of tech companies including Amazon and Netflix.
Bumble signage at the Nasdaq when it went public in February. Photo by Bloomberg.
Markets
Where Has the IPO Lockup Gone? Tech Firms Trim Them Back
Some of last year’s most valuable tech initial public offerings, including Airbnb, Doordash and Snowflake, allowed pre-IPO shareholders to sell their stock before the traditional six-month waiting period expired.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Bloomberg.
The Briefing Google Apple
Big Tech's Boffo Performance
Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet each reported impressively robust earnings results for the June quarter, demonstrating that these giant companies continue to go from strength to strength even as they face greater regulatory scrutiny.
Photos by Bloomberg; Shutterstock. Art by Mike Sullivan
Amazon E-commerce
Amazon’s Roads to Nowhere
For months, residents of Margo Drive, a narrow residential street on the outskirts of Charlotte, N.C., have puzzled over this question: Why do gigantic semitrucks hauling cargo for Amazon keep rumbling down their one-lane, dead-end road?