You might not think Amazon founder Jeff Bezos would feel the need to prove the value he’s created in the e-commerce giant, given its market capitalization of $1.7 trillion. But you’d be wrong. Stung perhaps by the constant criticism of Amazon’s working conditions and allegedly rapacious attitudes toward merchants on its service, Jeff Bezos used his annual shareholder letter today to point out just how much value Amazon has created—for customers, workers, outside merchants and shareholders.
And the way he does the math, customers as a group have earned the most “value” from Amazon, based on time saved not driving to the store, followed by employees, with shareholders being at the bottom of the list. Perhaps Bezos should go into comedy. Instead of calculating value by looking at the increase in Amazon’s market cap last year—$679 billion—Bezos uses the company’s net income of $21 billion. That hides the fact that shareholders got the most value out of Amazon last year, far more than any other group. But it doesn’t otherwise make much sense.