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Last weekend, Jeff Bezos and Halle Berry, Chris Hemsworth and other Hollywood celebrities attended the Golden Globe Awards show. Last December, under the lens of The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos walked the red carpet with superstars such as Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
On Friday, Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, donated $ 33 million to a non-profit nonprofit that offered university scholarships to young immigrants who were illegally brought into the United States during childhood as "dreamers." In October last year, he was honored for donating money to the Equal Gay Campaign.
Jennifer Cast, an Amazon executive who made the donation to Bezos, said the event would have also accepted anonymous donations, "but Jeff believes it is equally important to openly support equal rights and donations for same-sex marriage."
She added, "If we openly accept his donations, the world will soon know that Jeff Bezos supports affirmative action for same-sex marriage."
This is a new aspect that Bezos presents to the general public.
(Bezos and movie stars Matt Damon, Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth) after the Golden Globe Gala on Sunday
Bezos has shaped Amazon into one of the most valuable companies in the world and has also created the image of a glittering corporate giant with lots of talent. He loves dwelling on Amazon's home base in Seattle, in part because he thinks it would be better for Amazon's business to grow and more for wanting to avoid unnecessary public affairs and entertainment.
However, Bezos, 54, who holds more than $ 100 billion in net worth, has become the richest man in the world and deserves to enjoy one of the world's most luxurious, understated and obscure but none of this.
As a monster worth more than $ 600 billion, Amazon has become synonymous with "technology giants," along with Apple, Google and Facebook. These companies seem to be standing on the opposite side of the public. Amazon will be placed under a microscope, critics say the company has a huge impact on jobs and market competition, and Bezos has also become a "thorn in the throes of Trump," the president always giving Bezos and his Amazon Twitter Contempt.
Steve Case, co-founder of America Online, said "People are beginning to feel scared of Amazon." Recently, he pulled Bezos to create a fund to invest in start-up companies that serve the more underdeveloped regions. "If Jeff continues to nest in Seattle, the scary mood will intensify, and even if it's just for defense, he must now launch an attack."
Bezos's portfolio of boxing punches him further into the spotlight. In October 2013, he bought the Washington Post for $ 250 million and vigorously promoted the revival of the press. In 2016, it bought one of Washington's most expensive mansions for $ 23 million, and the house is undergoing extensive renovations to become a place suitable for gatherings of urban political classes. His neighbors include former President Obama and his family, Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.
Blue Origin, a space company created by Bezos, is also expanding its influence, giving Bezos another platform. The company is trying to save the planet by helping to remove huge, heavy industries from the planet.
(Bezos In front of Blue Origin's reusable spacecraft, Blue Origin expanded Bezos public exposure as a startup)
"He was grateful for the Golden Globe and was the subject of a presidential push on Twitter - even Steve Jobs did not have such a cultural standing." Margaret O, a professor of history at the University of Washington and Mara Said she organized a museum exhibition donated by Bezos in Seattle.
Amazon spokeswoman Drew Herdener said in a statement that "Jeff loves his efforts for the community through Amazon, Blue Origin and The Washington Post. He likes to share his passion with the public while creating his work with the team. . "
However, following an interview with more than 30 people who know Bezos, most of whom refuse to reveal their identities to protect their relationship with Bezos, Bezos in their mouth is gradually realizing that more and more people are increasingly ignoring the Amazon Hostile, but also gradually adapt to appear in the public view.
They say Bezos embraces the possibility that the growing Amazon will be more scrutinized by the government. The chief executive has suggested that Amazon executives take the initiative to self-check in order to pass any legal or regulatory test.
Buffett, an investor who has known Bezos since the 1990s, said Bezos had to learn from Microsoft's story. For 10 years, Microsoft has been stuck in a government textbook antitrust investigation. As the case unfolds step by step, Microsoft, the once dominant technology company, has been shaken and given unforeseen opportunities for competitors.
Buffett said: "If your work disrupted the livelihoods of others, you will be subject to a lot of censorship."
Some people who know Bezos say he built a new public image out of business interests, while others think it is the result of personal growth.
But they all said it is clear Bezos and his Amazon are trying to show the world something other than their "tech personality."
Escape the spotlight period
People who used to work with Bezos say Bezos has always been happy to play the role of lead salesman for Amazon, especially when he thinks it would bring benefits to Amazon's customers. He will be interviewed and given speeches on major events such as when a new product such as the Kindle e-reader or Echo smart speaker is available and needs to be explained to the world.
For almost two decades, however, he insisted that companies should stay away from political focus, not to disturb the local community and to engage in the simplest lobbying possible.
Even after being named "Time" magazine's 1999 character in 1999, he tried to evade politics. A former employee who had been working in Amazon for a long time said he was even reluctant to take a group photo with politicians, and this was the "daily routine" of the management of large companies.
At the time, avoiding concerns led to direct business interests.
Bezos, a former hedge fund manager in New York City, as one of the first to discover the value of the Internet, had a wife and grandchildren traveling across the country with her wife in 1994, only to find a suitable startup to start a book-selling book on the Internet The city of the company In the same year, he founded Amazon in Seattle, partly because Microsoft introduced more and more skilled people to the region.
(Bezos, 1997, three years after he founded Amazon's online bookstore)
Another reason is that starting a startup in Washington means that Amazon does not have to pay sales tax in large states like California, Texas and New York. Because retailers are only obliged to levy sales taxes in the states where they actually have stores.
During that period, the company did not openly talk about the exact location of most warehouses for the same reason. And if an Amazon employee in Seattle plans to go out to work, he or she must submit a review of the itinerary to avoid triggering unnecessary sales tax provisions.
These efforts, in turn, have given this fledgling company a further price advantage against the long-established physical retailers such as Barnes & amp; Noble.
This also means that, despite growing customer base, Amazon has little if any presence in the political arena.
By the end of 2012, the company already had more than 88,000 employees and annual sales of more than $ 61 billion, all the while creating large businesses such as Prime Affiliate Services and Amazon Cloud Services (AWS). That year, however, Seattle politicians and the news media criticized the company for claiming that Amazon was moving away from civic life in comparison with such stalwarts as Boeing and Starbucks.
(Amazon warehouse in Carteret, New Jersey, a turning point for Bezos by turning to a sales tax payment agreement with various states in return for permission to set up facilities across the country)
Sally Jewell, the then CEO of retailer R.E.I, told The Seattle Times in 2012, "I'm not sure what Amazon has really done to the community, which is infrequent in the nonprofit organizations I work with."
For investors, Bezos's attitude toward business is less than speaking, leaving competitors skeptical and investors confused. Until today, Amazon did not publicly disclose how many Kindle, Echo or any other device it sold, and over the years it has declined to disclose the financial details of its highly-profitable Amazon cloud service.
Despite the lack of detail, investors' concerns over the past decade have caused the share price to climb by more than 1,100%, a marvel.
Collection of spotlights
In 2011, Bezos ushered in another turning point - Amazon's open confrontation with the state government.
At the time, lawmakers began to force sales tax on Internet retailers like Amazon. A former Amazon employee who participated in the incident said that Amazon first operated in California in an attempt to reverse a new law aimed at levying online sales taxes. However, in the discovery of Amazon's image is bound to be damaged, Bezos gave up the plan.
Therefore, Amazon began peaceful coexistence with the government. In 2011, it signed an agreement with California to levy a sales tax in the state, and it has successively reached a series of similar agreements with other states.
(Amazon's headquarters in Seattle)
As part of the deal with the state government, Amazon began deploying warehouses across the country, allowing Amazon to deliver orders faster and allow local politicians to advertise, bringing in thousands of new jobs.
Suddenly, a company that once refused to confirm how many employees it has at its headquarters in Seattle began talking non-stop about how many positions it created. Amazon now has 542,000 employees.
Yet while Bezos and his company are constantly talking about how many jobs they have created, they also face many diametrically opposed attacks: Critics think Amazon is actually a bully who is strangling jobs.
The tide of closures by physical retailers such as Barnes & amp; Noble and Macy's has increased the voice of critics. "Someone must stop Amazon," writes New Public article on Amazon's growing market power.
That year, a fight with book publisher Hachette about the price of e-books made it even more "unscrupulous" by Amazon. For a time, Amazon deliberately delayed the delivery of paper books under the name of the publisher to reduce the attractiveness of paper books.
After the problem was solved, Bezos told reporters that Amazon is only carrying out arduous negotiations on behalf of consumers.
(Amazon now has a market capitalization of more than 600 billion U.S. dollars, expanding into businesses all over the world such as India)
When it comes to book publishers, he said: "Making it easy for those vested interests to make changes is a very difficult matter."
Another impact on the company's public profile occurred in 2015 when the New York Times published a long essay examining Amazon's corporate work culture, describing it as an "intolerant" environment. "This essay is not about the Amazon I know nor the group of helpful colleagues who work with me every day," Bezos wrote in an email to company employees after the article was published. .
According to two people who have a close working relationship with Bezos, Bezos has been concerned with the company's reputation since the New York Times and the Hachette incident.
In late 2015, just months after Trump's election as president, Trump started touting Bezos on Twitter because Bezos frequently criticized him in The Washington Post.
"The Washington Post hurt the public interest by continuing to make a loss for its owners, Bezos and Amazon, to pay less." In December of the same year, Trump also called Amazon Amazon a "tax evader."
And Bezos responded by moving out of the Blue Origin rocket to persuade the future president of the United States to "go up to heaven."
The White House Spokesman did not respond to the incident.
In June, when Washington announced the acquisition of the Whole Foods Markets chain, Washington began to pay attention to the company again. Although Amazon remains a niche player in the food department store, the acquisition begins to give some lawmakers some doubts about the power of the company.
"The acquisition of Whole Foods gives rise to a realization that this company is an economically undeniable force," said Stacy Mitchell, partner at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. The agency, a public interest lobbying group serving local businesses, has published a commentary on Amazon and criticized Amazon's impact on employment and society.
From Washington to another Washington
People who know Bezos for a long time say he is a perseverant and Amazon shows many of his personalities.
From the end of 2015, he has become an active Twitter user. He had posted a photo of himself wearing a pair of lucky cowboy boots and a video of himself standing on a wind turbine in Texas. In November, at a gathering of leaders in business, healthcare, and entertainment, he talked in his speech that the ideal job was to be a waitress because he enjoyed talking to people.
"I'm very proud of the art of making cocktails," he said.
If you want to use a picture to portray Bezos at the moment, it's a good fit to take a photo of him at a business meeting in Idaho in July. Bezos arms and muscles in the picture drum, prop up the polo shirt. "Tough guy Bezos" quickly became a network heat map. A tweezers contrasting his poorly-mannered photos of the 1990s (with wen: selling books) and 17-year-old muscular images (with wen: what do I want to sell?).
("Selling books" and "I sell what I sell")
People often start talking about the details of his life, including his once-unforgettable schedule. Now, most of the time he will leave the lakeside view of a luxury lake in the Medina, Washington state, where he runs Amazon in a refurbished 37-storey building in Seattle.
Every Wednesday, he goes to an industrial park on the outskirts of Kent. Blue Origin rocket is assembled here.
Every two weeks, he has a conference call with the Washington Post's leadership. Twice a year, members of the leadership team will visit Bezos home. A mailing list full of posts from the top of the post has been named "Pancake Group." When members of this group first came to his house, Bezos made a sweet oatmeal cake for members according to his favorite recipe for "Cooking Fun."
(Bezos acquisition energizes The Washington Post)
"We do not look at home to a billionaire home with more servants than our guests," said Shailesh Prakash, CIO's chief information officer. "The rich himself was busy trying to find a way out of the couch . "
Changes in Amazon's management nearly two years ago made Bezos's work better known, leaving Jeff Wilke to head the consumer business and Andy Jassy in charge of cloud computing. This frees him more time with the Washington Post and Blue Origin, but he still invests heavily in Amazon, spending most of his time with at least two to four years Available in the work.
Bezos also began to use the media for the company's campaign. In September last year, he curated a widely watched project for Amazon to find the site where the second headquarters was formed. At the conference, Amazon highlighted the potential new jobs this project could bring - up to 50,000 & # 39; and motivating towns like Dallas and Boston to bid.
This means that Bezos may appear more in Washington in the future than in Washington. Bezos now visits the Washington area about 10 times a year - participating in the forum in the Washington Post, discussing issues with engineers, and dining with reporters. His home is being renovated, two rows of houses near the Kalorama area, next to a row of embassies on Massachusetts Boulevard, which used to be the city's textile museum.
Bezos plans to hold a salon-style dinner in the house, inspired by a dinner prepared by the Washington Post's former publisher, Katharine Graham, for the party's headdress. Bezos asked his guests to have a conversation around only one theme at each dinner, a well-known rule that would prevent everyone from discussing private topics.
"This is a big house," said Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post. "I hope he has a party for us at home."
(Bezos At the White House meeting of the US Technical Committee, participants included President Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella)
Sally Quinn, a veteran post writer and Washington-based godmother, said she has yet to receive news of how Bezos will make use of her new home. But she praised the idea of trying to bring together the big coffee of politics.
"No one in Washington now really does something similar," said Quinn, who recently met Bezos at the premiere of the Washington Post. "It's like retrogression."
"Jeff", she said: "I think that only you have the ability to do it right now."