The company was launched by founder Jeff Bezos in 1994 as an online bookstore, but has since ballooned into the world’s largest e-commerce company that sells virtually everything, including electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and much more.
In addition to e-commerce, Amazon’s revenue comes from subscription services, cloud computing services, Whole Foods grocery sales, and other areas. It also builds and sells its own consumer electronics such as the Amazon Kindle and Amazon Echo. Amazon Web Services is the world’s largest seller of cloud computing services. The company’s entertainment streaming service also produces its own movies and TV shows, and Amazon Music provides access to millions of songs.
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Amazon’s Latest Developments
- On March 8, 2021 Amazon purchased a minority stake in air-freight company Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), exercising stock warrants Amazon originally acquired in 2016 as part of a deal to lease 20 Boeing 767 jets from ATSG. It also owns warrants to buy a minority stake in air freight company Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW). This move, combined with Amazon’s purchase of 11 Boeing 767’s earlier this year and its plans to open an air-shipping hub in Kentucky later in 2021 are part of a trend of Amazon moving more of its air cargo operations in-house.
- On February 8, 2021, the 5,000 employees at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama fulfillment center began a mail-in vote on whether to form a union. The ballots will be counted on March 30, 2021.
- On February 2, 2021. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos announced that he planned to leave his post later in the year, turning the role of CEO over to the company’s top cloud executive, Andy Jassy. Bezos will be transitioning to executive chairman of Amazon’s board. In the same press release, Amazon announced its results for its 2020 fiscal year. Amazon’s revenue exceeded analysts’ expectations, and earnings did so substantially. Revenue from Amazon’s high-margin Amazon Web Services (AWS) segment grew, but fell short of analysts’ expectations.