Jeff Bezos could ‘pull a Bob Iger’ and return as Amazon CEO: analyst


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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos could “pull a Bob Iger” and return to rescue his embattled e-commerce giant in 2023 as it contends with sagging revenue and sweeping layoffs, according to a prominent Wall Street analyst

Amazon is in the midst of a major slump under the leadership of Bezos’ successor, Andy Jassy, with shares plunging 50% in 2022 alone. On Wednesday, Jassy cited an “uncertain economy” while confirming Amazon would cut more than 18,000 jobs early this year.

Like the newly reinstalled Disney CEO Iger, Bezos, Amazon’s founder and the world’s fifth-richest person, may find it difficult to remain on the sidelines, according to Michael Batnick, managing partner of Ritholtz Wealth Management, who floated a potential comeback in a recent blog post on his predictions for the upcoming year.

“Jeff Bezos is an extremely rich man who got a lot less rich last year because the company he spent [his life building] is struggling, big time,” Batnick later told CNBC on Wednesday about his prediction.

Jeff Bezos is still serving as Amazon’s executive chairman.
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“This is not without precedent. Bob Iger just did this, [former Starbucks CEO] Howard Schultz has pulled this multiple times, so I think it’s possible – I’m not going to pound the table on this – but I do think it’s possible that he returns to the helm to steady the ship,” Batnick added.

Iger, 71, shocked the business world last November when he abruptly returned as Disney CEO. Iger ousted his handpicked successor, Bob Chapek, who ran afoul of other company executives following months of middling stock performance and botched handling of various challenges, including the flap over Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Concerns about Chapek’s leadership grew so extreme that several top executives, including Disney CFO Christine McCarthy, reportedly approached the company’s board of directors to air their grievances.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos handed the Amaazon CEO gig to Andy Jassy in 2021.
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So far, there are no signs that Jassy is facing a similar revolt at Amazon. Jassy took over as Amazon’s CEO in 2021.

Since stepping down as CEO, Bezos has devoted more of his time to running the private space firm Blue Origin. He has not given any indication that he plans to take on a more prominent role at Amazon.

The Post has reached out to representatives for Amazon and Bezos for comment.

Bob Iger
Iger’s return came after a prolonged stock slump at Disney.
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Amazon’s market cap plunged by a whopping $840 billion last year as the company’s revenue growth slowed. Jassy has looked to cut expenses during a broader downturn in the tech sector and signs of that consumer spending has slowed ahead of a potential economic recession.

Bob Iger
Bob Iger returned as Disney CEO late last year.
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Bezos’ estimated net worth plunged by a whopping $85 billion last year. As of Thursday, he was wealth was estimated at $107 billion, according to Forbes.

Amazon’s layoffs will impact about 1.2% of its 1.5 million global workforce, according to the Wall Street Journal. Most of the cuts will impact Amazon’s corporate wing, which will experience a 5% reduction in staff.

“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Jassy said in a blog post. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”

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