The “Best” is such a subjective descriptor. However, if pressed to select the best operating CEO our vote would go to Amazon founder & CEO Jeff Bezos. A sure fire bet to be a first ballot Hall of Famer in CEORater’s CEO Hall of Fame.
Amazon is perhaps the most practical of the Technology giants. The genius of Amazon’s business model is its simplicity – to sell as many goods and services to as many consumers and businesses as possible.
Historically Amazon’s bread-and-butter was in providing marketplaces for buyers and sellers to transact. Technology innovations were primarily leveraged internally to drive a superior service delivery model that resulted in high customer satisfaction and repeat business.
In recent years Amazon has worked to expand its footprint across large markets or “verticals” (Grocery, Automotive, Smart Home and Healthcare among them), while simultaneously investing in horizontal technologies that have enormous potential to scale such as AWS, cashierless checkout, smart assistants, online pharmacy and a COVID-proof supply chain to name a few.
Amazon is the one large platform company that is willing to vertically integrate a market in order to maximize learnings and the opportunity to scale. Grocery is one such example with Amazon’s $13.7 billion 2017 Whole Foods acquisition. Amazon’s willingness to vertically integrate stands in stark contrast to Alphabet (tkr: GOOG) and Microsoft (tkr: MSFT), each of which prefer to partner.
Amazon has lots more coming across Grocery (a yet to be named new store brand is coming), Healthcare, Smart Home/Key/Smart Assistants/AI, Robotics & Autonomous delivery, Cashierless Technology and a variety of AI and ML-powered services that will reside inside of AWS.
Look for AWS to become an extension of the U.S. Federal Government as more data is stored and analytics are run in the cloud. U.S. military and Federal law enforcement operations are obvious candidates to heavily leverage AWS, especially in a post-Trump world.
Given Fed Chairman’s Powell’s weak stomach for interest rate increases (at least until 2023) Amazon shares could very well inflate to $3 Trillion during this zero interest rate, Fed-induced bubble.