📦 Andy Jassy to replace Jeff Bezos


February 3, 2021

{date(‘MMMM dd, yyyy’,time(“now”))}
The Hustle
TOGETHER WITH
Caliber

$GME fell 60% (to $90) on the same day Jeff Bezos announced that he will step down as Amazon’s CEO. Coincidence? Methinks… probably.

The Big Idea
Jeff Bezos

The only way to cool off $AMZN’s stock price (Source: YouTube)

Jeff Bezos will step down as Amazon’s CEO

Yesterday, Amazon announced Q4 2020 earnings of ~$126B — the e-comm giant’s first $100B+ quarter.

But the company’s spicy financials were overshadowed by a bigger piece of news: Jeff Bezos is resigning as Amazon’s CEO.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Bezos has been more of an executive chairman in recent years, trying not to “schedule meetings before 10 a.m. and to make all of his tough decisions before 5 p.m.”

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994…

… and since its IPO in May 1997, he’s seen the company’s value explode from ~$300m to ~$1.7T.

The pandemic has been a massive tailwind for Amazon’s business, with ecomm deliveries surging and remote work juicing its cloud business. In Q4 alone, the company hired 175k employees, expanding its workforce to ~1.3m.

This business success has invited regulatory scrutiny, with Amazon facing antitrust probes from in the US and Europe.

Andy Jassey is taking over the top spot

A Harvard Business School grad who’s been at Amazon since 1997, Jassy was one of 2 key execs (along with Jeff Wilke) who Bezos tasked with overseeing the company’s day-to-day responsibilities in 2016.

As the current CEO of Amazon Web Services, Jasse has been a critical driver of the company’s growth in recent years.

How critical? Investor Jon Sakoda believes Amazon’s cloud business would be worth $2T-$4T as a standalone stock, based on public company cloud multiples.

What’s next for Bezos?

Like many of us, Jeff enjoys the occasional side hustle.

The only difference is that his side hustle — selling $1B of $AMZN stock per year to fund his space company, Blue Origin — happens to pit him against the world’s second richest person, who also wants to “colonize the cosmos.”

Bezos can focus full-time on this hobby in Q3 2021, when he’ll transition to the executive chairman role on Amazon’s board.

“Keep inventing, and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy,” Bezos wrote in an email to employees. “Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1.”

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
Snippets
  • The South African Revenue Service (SARS) hasn’t migrated its e-filing forms from Flash — which Adobe no longer supports — to HTML. Solution: Pay Russian coders to make a custom Flash browser. (We wrote about the end of Flash here.)
  • An anonymous startup has raised $3m… to give it all away. What’s the catch? Per TechCrunch, it’s a customer acquisition play for a TBA fintech product. Investors include Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and Allbirds CEO Joey Zwillinger.
  • Drink it up: Uber is acquiring alcohol-delivery startup Drizly for ~$1.1B and will integrate the app into Uber Eats. This is a change for Uber’s recent M&A strategy of… selling stuff (to focus on delivery and ride-sharing).
  • An OS for the music industry: Music manager and tech founder Daouda Leonard released “Publishing Simulator,” a tool for artists to find out how much publishing income they can earn from streaming. (Check out our Q&A with him here.)
  • Tesla is recalling ~135k Model S and Model X vehicles after regulators found problems with the touch-screen display.
  • 2021 bingo card: “After Myanmar coup, Facebook removes national military TV network’s page,” per the Wall Street Journal.
  • Not peanuts. Kraft Heinz is in talks to sell Planters — the legendary nut brand with the monocled Mr. Peanut — for ~$3B to Hormel.
  • Google Cloud Business lost $5.6B last year… but is growing fast (50% YoY) and notched a full year revenue of $13B.
Massive Funding
data lakehouse

Databricks raises $1B (at a $28B valuation!) to build ‘data lakehouses’

In what’s beginning to feel like a daily ritual, another tech company — this time, Databricks — announced $1B in Series G funding at a $28B valuation.

The company’s investor roster sounds like the VC equivalent of the 1992 US men’s basketball Dream Team: T. Rowe Price, Tiger Global, BlackRock, a16z, Franklin Templeton, Coatue, Fidelity, Amazon, Alphabet, Salesforce, and Microsoft, among others.

Databricks builds ‘data lakehouses’

These are a new form of cloud storage systems that companies can use to store structured and unstructured data while layering business intelligence (BI) and machine learning (ML) tools on top.

Built by gangster Berkeley academics, Databricks closed 2020 with $425m in ARR — up 75% YoY — and has 5k+ customers.

The new funding — which values Databricks at a casual ~65x multiple — will be spent on expanding Databricks’ global footprint, hiring talent, and R&D.

But Databricks has some competition

You might remember this other data lake company, Snowflake, which had the largest software IPO ever in September. Snowflake’s revenue grew 119% YoY in Q3 2020.

The Databricks-Snowflake rivalry could get awkward as some investors (ahem, Salesforce) have stakes in both companies.

Still, Databricks already exceeded Snowflake’s pre-IPO valuation. And with cloud behemoths AWS, Google, and Microsoft all backing, Databricks has a strategic edge as it plans to go public later this year.

Unfortunately, we’ll probably forget about it tomorrow when some other company raises $3B at a $500B valuation.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
SPONSORED

How to invest in real estate without being a landlord

Distressed real estate markets provide tons of opportunity for savvy investors.

That’s where Caliber comes in.

Started by three young entrepreneurs during the Great Recession in 2008, Caliber was built on the belief that everyone deserves a better alternative to the stock market — and they’ve created just that with their impressive real estate portfolio. 

At the end of 2020, Caliber raised $30M to invest in distressed real estate as the market prepared to bounce back…

And now, you can invest in Caliber through their Mini-IPO 

Caliber is a pretty unique opportunity — just check out their numbers:

Check out Caliber here and see what you’re missing (the last day to invest is 2/26).

Invest in Caliber →
Journalism’s VC
Laurene Powell Jobs

Laurene Powell Jobs is trying to save journalism through funding

Laurene Powell Jobs — Steve Jobs’ widow — claims she named her charitable organization the Emerson Collective after Ralph Waldo Emerson, in honor of his essay “Self-Reliance.”

It just so happens Emerson Street was also the location of her first date with Steve. Coincidence? We think not.

Anyway, Emerson is equipped with $1.8B+ in assets and has recently been working to instill self-reliance in American journalism.

“Journalism is a cornerstone of our democracy…

… and we see that it’s dying,” Emerson’s director of media told the Columbia Journalism Review. “We want to try and help save it.”

Today, Emerson looks like a charitable VC firm. While its ~$250m investments in journalism include $37m to nonprofits, it also includes $110m for a 70% stake in The Atlantic.

Aside from The Atlantic — whose paywall brought in ~400k subscribers in 2020 — Emerson is also invested in for-profit media firms Axios, The Athletic, Anonymous Content, and Pushkin Industries.

Emerson is run like a business

The organization’s structure as an LLC — though mainly for privacy purposes — is symbolic of the fact that Powell Jobs expects investments will turn a profit.

In May, The Atlantic laid off 68 employees as revenue sunk. Then in August, Emerson cut ties with Pop Up Magazine, whose pre-COVID projections had it losing $3m in 2020.

Still, this could likely only be the beginning of Emerson’s foray into media. Last year, Powell Jobs told the New York Times her fortune “ends with me.”

**Pulls out calculator**… There’s a solid $22B+ to go.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
family-run firms

Why does Germany have so many family-run firms?

We don’t cover a ton of German companies here, but The Economist dropped some interesting stats on Deutschland industry: 90%+ of German firms are family companies.

This includes all types of firms from carmakers (BMW, VW) to engineering (Bosch) to medicine (Merck) to retail (Aldi, Lidl).

What’s with the family affair?

The Economist offers up 2 potential reasons:

  • Inheritance tax: Compared to America or France, Germany’s inheritance tax is much lower and can actually be waived if the heirs keep the lights on for 7 years and keep staff onboard.
  • Perception of entrepreneurs: In America, the self-made man is praised, while Germans have a soft spot for old money.

Succession planning is a big deal in Germany…

… which has a history of sibling breakups. Perhaps most famously, the Dassler brothers split in 1948 to create 2 of Europe’s most well-known shoe firms: Adidas and Puma.

A more recent story is completely bonkers. Karl-Erivan Haub — the 5th-generation CEO of Tengelmann, a billion-dollar retail empire — went missing nearly 3 years ago.

After he was presumed dead, the family company has been dealing with inheritance disarray… it’s so bad that Christian Haub (a brother) no longer wants Haub declared dead.

There really is no drama like family drama.

SPONSORED
Download for free here →

TRENDS

One industry mushrooming to $86B…

Our team came across an interesting stat:

The global fungi (mushroom) industry is forecast to double in the next five years to a staggering $86B.

This growth will be powered by:

  1. An increase in culinary demand, including utilization of mushrooms in new and interesting ways (coffee alternatives and alcohol-free spirits being two examples).
  2. Rising adoption by the pharmaceutical industry, especially as states (like Oregon) begin to legalize the regulated use of psilocybin ’shrooms as a treatment for anxiety, addiction, and depression.

Our team spent the week picking out the most interesting trends they were seeing around the mushroom market, and compiled them for you to pick through in a new Signals piece.

When you read through, you’ll learn:

  • How companies like Adidas and Lululemon are using mushroom-based textiles to develop the next generation of sustainable fashion
  • How the $117B agritourism industry is taking advantage of the new “Mushroom Hunting” craze
  • Opportunities within this growing market that you can get started on immediately
  • And much more.

If you’re not already a member of Trends, sign up today for a $1 trial to get access to the full report.

Sign Up →

Job posting of the day
Amazon's first job listing

Source: CNBC

In August of 1994, Jeff Bezos posted the first Amazon job listing on Usenet. The job requirements were … ummm, interesting:

  • “[Be able to build complex systems] in about 1/3rd the time that most competent people think possible”
  • “Expect intense co-workers”

If that wasn’t intense enough for you, one of the pre-Amazon names was Relentless.com. The URL still redirects to Amazon.

SHARE THE HUSTLE
Hustle Cons Greatest Hits ebook

Over the years, we’ve learned… secrets.

The business secrets, tips, and tricks that have helped founders go from zero to millions — and even billions — of dollars.

Want to see ‘em? Just refer {3-referral_count} more friends to The Hustle and we’ll send you our curated set of interviews with founders from brands like Zola, AWAY, Vungle, Bonobos, and more.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Stickers

Laptop lookin’ sparse? Water bottle lookin’… clear?

You’re only {5-referral_count} referrals away from your first Hustle swag, Sam’s Stickers. Slap a few of these bad boys on the ol’ laptop and let everyone in the coffee shop know that you know. You know?

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Pint Glass

Look at you, smarty pants. You’ve already shared The Hustle with {referral_count} friends and enemies.

But hey, just because you’re a business nerd doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cool bevvy. Get {10-referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you a pint glass etched with The Hustle logo.

Anyway, here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Ambassador Rewards

You’re only {15-referral_count} referrals away from earning our signature dad hat meant for ladies, gents, and dads alike to show folks they’re in the club.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Always be Hustlin' tee

You’re close to the most coveted item in Hustle-land: The Always Be Hustlin Tee.

The fabric? Luxurious. The cut? Relaxed, yet refined. The message? Indisputable.

Share this link with {25 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Hustle Hoodie

Damn, you’re on a roll. You’ve got the pint glass. You’ve got the hat. It’s time to complete your collection, don’t you think?

Get {50 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you our favorite piece of Hustle swag: The Startup Sweatshirt. Slipping into this piece of fleece might just transport you to Silicon Valley (or maybe somewhere better, your pick).

Share this link to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Trends Screenshot

Hey, we see you. You’re out there spreading the gospel of The Hustle like it’s nobody’s business. Seems like you might be ready for a little more…

Get {100 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll slide you a free subscription to Trends.

And no, this ain’t an ad. We just think you’re the kinda person who would thrive in our top-tier community (it’s usually $299) full of founders, investors, and builders (AKA ambitious, no B.S. business folks like you — and enjoy our premium research and content.

Share this link with {100 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Plane

If you love us so much why don’t you just marry us?

Get {1000 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll fly you to The Hustle HQ in beautiful, downtown eastern Austin, Texas. Round-trip flight, 2 nights in a hotel downtown, and some wining and dining with The Hustle fam.

Heck, you practically work here anyway. Copy & paste this link to share:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
How did you like today’s email?

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.