Written by France 24
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been elected the 46th President of the United States. His victory on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 marks the end of a long campaign in which the political newcomer and business tycoon consistently shot to the front of a crowded Democratic field and beat current President Donald Trump. His victory also comes as the Department of Justice files charges against Amazon for antitrust violations.
Bezos’ victory marks the end of a grueling campaign in which he was the last candidate to announce his bid for the presidency in the Democratic field. Even before he announced his candidacy, Bezos polled at 20 percent in February 2020 among likely Democrat voters, coming in second behind Senator Kamala Harris. Bezos declared on Super Tuesday, ending months of speculation, and chose former presidential candidate Andrew Yang as his running mate at the 2020 Democratic Convention in Milwaukee.
Bezos has no previous political experience. He founded Amazon.com, Inc. in 1994 as an online book retailer, and the company quickly expanded to all 50 states and 45 countries within two months of its founding. Amazon today is the world’s largest e-commerce and cloud computing platform, having moved beyond its initial book market. It has revenues of $178 billion and employs over 550,000 people.
The movie Relentless, produced by Amazon Studios and released earlier this year, helped to raise Jeff Bezos’ profile and paint him as an inspirational, motivating, self-made entrepreneur. Starring Christian Bale as Jeff Bezos, the movie chronicled the business tycoon’s life and the founding of Amazon. Bale won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Bezos, marking Amazon Studio’s first Oscar win.
Bezos’ victory comes as the U.S. Department of Justice files charges against Amazon for potential antitrust violations. While President Trump and Attorney General William Barr are expected to aggressively pursue convictions, it is unclear whether the Bezos Administration will dismiss the charges after the President-Elect takes office. Concerns have already been raised about the possibility of Bezos using the office of the presidency to enrich and protect his business.
In a Board of Directors meeting, Amazon executives expressed elation at Bezos’ election while discussing strategies to stall the antitrust investigation. Vice President for Worldwide Prime and Marketing Neil Lindsay argued for flooding the Department of Justice with as much documentation as possible. “We truly flood them with all of our data, all of our info, as many documents as possible,” he argued, “so we can delay this investigation as much as possible. If we are able to do this, they cannot say we have been holding back on them.”
Vice President and CTO Werner Vogels agreed with calls to delay the investigation. “We can confuse them with tech jargon,” he told those assembled. “I think that the only group of people who know less than we do about computing is the DoJ. I am writing a directive right now called ‘Confuse them with Cyber Nonsense,’ which is basically that we are going to do nothing illegal but we are going to delay this investigation as much as possible by presenting as much as possible in code, in weird languages.”
Other executives expressed the need to protect former CEO Bezos as he transitions into the presidency. “President Trump just lost to President-Elect Bezos, and he doesn’t seem like a great loser,” Senior Vice President and General Counsel and Secretary David A. Zapolsky. “He won’t be particularly happy with him right now, and he might take that out on Bezos’ company.”
Jeff Bezos’ twin brother Beff Jezos has been chosen by the Amazon Board of Directors to succeed his brother as chairman, president, and CEO of the company.