America's Worst CEOs of the Year: Amazon's Andy Jassy

This week, 24/7 Wall St. is featuring four candidates for the “Worst CEO of 2022” title. Among the yardsticks are stock price, strategic blunders and whether these chief executives have volunteered to resign or take large cuts in compensation when they dismiss workers. The prior nominees were Mark Zuckerberg and Ernest Garcia.

The investor relations page at shows a list of top management. At the head of the list is co-founder, billionaire and former chief executive officer Jeff Bezos. He is now the executive chair of the board. Bezos is arguably one of the greatest CEOs of the past 50 years. He started Amazon in 1994. It has become one of the largest companies in America. Bezos has made only one huge unforced error at Amazon. He made Andy Jassy CEO on July 5, 2021. Amazon has gone downhill most of the time since then. Jassy expanded Amazon too quickly. Many investors were enraged over the results.

A look at Amazon’s stock over the past year is the most damning evidence of Jassy’s poor management. It has declined 48%, while the S&P 500 is down 13%. Amazon’s market cap has dropped by almost $1 trillion. Not that a person as rich as Bezos would care, but his tremendous fortune also has been beaten down.

Amazon is supposed to grow faster than it is, at least by standards set in the past. In the most recently reported quarter, revenue rose 15% to $127 billion, compared to the same quarter a year ago. The net income figures were ugly. The number dropped from $3.2 billion to $2.9 billion, based on the same comparison.

The primary disappointment was that Amazon’s core e-commerce business was particularly poor. In its largest market of North America, revenue rose from $66 billion to $79 billion. But the unit lost $412 million. The international e-commerce operation posted a revenue decrease from $29.1 billion to $27.7 billion. It lost $2.5 billion.

The wildly successful Amazon Web Services, from whence Jassy came, continued to make the case of why it is and will be the cloud computing industry leader. Revenue rose from $16.1 billion in the year-ago period to $20.1 billion. Operating income rose from $4.9 billion to $5.4 billion.

Guidance for the current quarter was horrible. Revenue was forecast to grow as little as 2% to $140 billion. Operating income could be as little as $0. Given that these numbers include the holiday shopping season, the forecast meant that Amazon’s near-term future is a wreck.

The people who suffered the most from Amazon’s problems were the 10,000 workers Jassy cut to hold down costs.

Amazon also has lost one of its most prized assets under Jassy. According to The Wall Street Journal, customer satisfaction has dropped. The report pulled data from Evercore ISI. According to the data, “The conclusion from the research was that The number of Amazon customers who said they were ‘extremely’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the company in a recent survey has fallen, measuring at 79% in 2022.”

One final criticism of Jassy was that he overbuilt the Amazon delivery infrastructure. It has become too large for demand. Now, he is faced with how to best reverse course.

Amazon would be better off if Bezos had stayed.

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