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What will Amazon look like post-Bezos? | ticker VIEWS

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has handed over his CEO reins to the creator of Amazon Web Services

Jeff Bezos will officially step aside as CEO of Amazon, while Andy Jassy takes over the position.

It’s not the last everyone will see of Bezos though, he will stay on as the board’s executive chairman. However, Jassy will take on a lot of pressure, as he inherits the responsibility of the $1.7 trillion e-commerce giant.

The pressure is on for Jassy

Andy Jassy rose to his success during his time at Amazon’s cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services. He is now about to take over the e-commerce empire that employs over 1.3 million people.  Amazon generates more than $400 billion a year in revenue, while still averaging an annual growth rate of 30%.

The company is more valuable than it’s ever been. Amazon is the fourth of the five big tech firms like Apple, Microsoft, and Google’s Alphabet to go beyond founder control. Each of these firms went on to reach new levels of financial success by their subsequent leaders.

This shake-up comes at a critical time for the company. The pandemic saw an increase in consumer demand like never before. However, this only shone a light on the need for heightened regulatory action into the ever-growing empire and its market dominance.

Amazon has also faced growing criticism for its treatment of workers.  However, this is something Bezos has vowed to address as executive chairman.

What’s next for Bezos?

Bezos founded Amazon in his garage 27 years ago. The 57-year-old now has a net worth of $200 billion and will continue to have significant influence at the company. He will remain the largest individual shareholder. As of last month he owned around 51.2 million shares, which equates to about 10%.

It’s unclear how exactly Bezos will govern Amazon from the sidelines. But, the entrepreneur has no doubt created a legacy at Amazon. He defined Amazon’s culture as “customer obsession.” In April, Bezos told investors he would focus on new initiatives to continue to make Amazon a better place to work.

He might be stepping aside but he has plenty of other interests to occupy his time.

Outside of Amazon, he’ll spend more time with his space efforts at Blue Origin. Bezos is planning a joy ride to suborbital space with his best friend and brother, on July 20.

On his Instagram, Bezos has clearly shown his interests in Tinsel Town, posting about Golden Globe wins for Amazon Studios. During his last meeting as CEO, he spoke about re-imagining screen heroes for the 21st century through Amazon’s deal to buy MGM.

Bezos will also focus on his philanthropic efforts and ventures at the Washington Post.

Expert predictions for Amazon

Wall Street experts predict Amazon will surpass supermarket giant Walmart to become the largest U.S. company by annual sales next year. This is according to consensus estimates from FactSet.

Planning for success

Bezos stepping aside after 27 years definitely marks a new era for the e-commerce giant. It’s undeniable that he has revolutionised the streaming, shopping, technology, and internet space forever.

In his final letter to shareholders, Bezos laid out a broad vision for the company’s future, committing to extend Amazon’s famous obsession over its customers to the same level of care for its employees.

The first principle is to Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer, which is to strive for a safer, more productive, more diverse work environment. This urges leaders to ask if their employees are growing, feeling empowered and having fun.

The second principle is Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility, which is to strive to be humble. With a focus of the secondary effects of actions, including the planet, communities, customers, and world at large. This urges leaders to leave everything and everyone better than they found them.

Final words before stepping aside

“If you want to be successful in business (in life, actually), you have to create more than you consume. Your goal should be to create value for everyone you interact with. We are all taught to “be yourself.” What I’m really asking you to do is to embrace and be realistic about how much energy it takes to maintain that distinctiveness.”

Jeff Bezos

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

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Evergrande Group resumes work despite financial crisis

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China-based Evergrande Group has restarted work on more than 10 projects across six mainland cities

The company is trying to show some stability in its operations after averting a potentially disastrous default on its offshore debt.

The developer, saddled with 1.97 trillion yuan of liabilities, has sent workers to construction sites across major Chinese cities.

The group will says it will “make an all-out effort to comply with the governments’ requirements.”

China’s second-largest property developer also promised to potential buyers that it will complete building of their homes.

Evergrande’s impacts have widely hit the Chinese property sector, which accounts for a quarter of the economy.

Its debt crisis is also being widely watched by global financial markets, who are concerned about broader impacts.

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The world’s most locked down city is free but is re-entry anxiety hitting Melbourne? | ticker VIEWS

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Melbourne was once the world’s most liveable city. It appears that Covid-19 agrees, as the city recently ended its sixth lockdown

Victorians have been isolated for 262 days. It’s a grim statistic. In fact, it makes Melbourne the world’s most locked down city.

Unsurprisingly, Victoria is also the state with Australia’s highest number of Covid-19 infections (over 73,100), and deaths (1,005).

During lockdown, people began smiling through their face masks as they greeted passers-by on their daily walks. Cupboards were cleaned, old clothes were thrown out, and alcohol consumption was rife.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews put it bluntly, “these are shitty choices”.

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews

But on Friday, restaurants popped open their first bottles of champagne in months; and people left their homes outside of curfew hours. These are the things that weren’t allowed just days ago, under the state’s strict stay-at-home orders.

But for some, the mental health toll of being locked down for such a long time is hitting home.

Ticker’s own Dr Kieran Kennedy says re-entry anxiety are “feelings of uncertainty, fear and anxiety around pandemic restrictions lowering”.

Psychiatrists believe re-entry anxiety is characterised by a major period of change.

What can help?

There are a range of techniques that are clinically proven to reduce anxiety during periods of change.

  • acknowledge it
  • take it slow
  • put a simple routine or structure in place
  • plan steps to get back outside
  • look after yourself
  • talk to people
  • recognise the symptoms.

As Melbourne, and the world opens back up, there’s one word that comes to mind for me: balance.

The shadow pandemic

Australia has recently made the shift from a Covid-zero and lockdown mentality, to living with the virus.

Other countries have already adopted this approach, like the United Kingdom, where case numbers are spiking, and smaller nations like Singapore.

“We need to update our mindsets. We should respect Covid-19, but we must not be paralysed by fear.”

SINGAPORE’s PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG

Some places are still working towards Covid-zero, including China, which was once the epicentre of the virus.

But as countries begin to emerge from the height of the pandemic, the mental health impacts are also coming to light.

LifeLine—a mental health support service—reported its busiest days in its 57-year history. Calls have reportedly increased by 40 per cent in recent months.

“Just two years ago we were averaging under 2,500 calls a day,” the company’s chair, John Brigden said.

You can almost feel these impacts in Melbourne. From businesses with a ‘for lease’ sticker splashed across their front windows, or for me, the reluctance of jumping straight into a weekend of socialising.

“Today we are regularly seeing more than 3,500—a 40 per cent increase.”

Lifeline chair John Brogden.

Our health experts are telling us that it isn’t the end either.

Professor Adrian Esterman is a former epidemiologist with the World Health Organisation. He says there are a “host of potential viruses” that may cause the next pandemic in our lifetime.

It’s important to acknowledge this, because we are not immune to disasters or change. The world is a complex place.

Importantly, there’s no race to get back to anything. Yes, restrictions have eased but for some, the time to adjust may take a little longer.

I’m not trying to suppress anyone’s feeling of excitement, rather, just shine a light on the perils of re-entry.

Back to reality

As cities bounce back from an incredibly devastating and dark period, I’m having different conversations with my peers.

We’re talking more about our mental health—the harsh toll of being isolated from the things that we love.

But moving back into a ‘normal’ routine—with social and community commitments—isn’t easy.

In fact, research shows that sudden changes can lead to tiredness, stress and irritability—the term known as re-entry anxiety.

Above all, it can lead to unease. We’ve all changed our priorities and daily activities for well over a year, it’s bound to affect our recovery.

Picnics are back, as people around the world celebrate ‘freedom day’.

For me, I wonder what the world will look like in a month, and years to come.

I’m not in any hurry to rush back to ‘normal’ because our entire sense of normality has changed.

I think it’s been nice to strip life back, and appreciate the smaller things—a walk on the beach; dinner at the table; or connecting with an old relative.

However, I appreciate that the world moves fast, and people are keen to suppress these recent memories.

As people make reservations; gather outdoors, and see their friends; it’s time to enjoy these freedoms—at our own pace.

But remember, there is always light at the end of the tunnel if you are struggling—short, or long-term.

If you, or someone you know needs help, please contact your local helpline.

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“This is the best news we’ve had” – Qantas brings forward international travel

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Qantas will bring forward its restart date of international flights for fully vaccinated travellers

Qantas and Jetstar will bring forward the restart of more international flights to popular destinations from Sydney and operate regular flights to Delhi, the first commercial flights for Qantas between Australia and India in almost a decade.

“This is the best news we’ve had in almost two years and it will make a massive difference to thousands of our people who finally get to fly again.”

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said

The faster ramp up follows the Federal and New South Wales governments confirming that international borders would reopen from 1 November 2021 and the decision by the NSW Government to remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated arrivals – which significantly increases travel demand.

“Australia is ready for take off”

Australia’s pm said on friday

“We’ve said for months that the key factor in ramping up international flying would be the quarantine requirement. The decision by the NSW Government to join many cities from around the world by removing quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers means we’re able to add these flights from Sydney much earlier than we would have otherwise,” Joyce said.

These decisions – combined with plans by states and territories to reopen domestic borders – support all Qantas and Jetstar workers based in Australia and New Zealand who are currently stood down to return to work by early December 2021.

This includes around 5,000 employees linked to domestic flying and around 6,000 linked to international flying.

Due to extended border closures, many international crew have been stood down since the start of the pandemic.

All passengers on Qantas and Jetstar international flights (aged 12 years and older) will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine (unless they have an exemption).

Qantas and Jetstar are preparing to ramp up capacity

The updated international schedule published today will allow flights from Sydney to Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, Johannesburg, Fiji to resume ahead of schedule.

Qantas will also launch new route from Sydney to Delhi before Christmas.

Qantas and Jetstar are preparing to ramp up capacity between Melbourne and Sydney as quarantine-free travel is set to resume between Australia’s two largest cities

Pre-COVID, Melbourne-Sydney was the second busiest route in the world, with the Group operating up to 58 return services per day, but during the latest lockdowns this got down to as low as one return flight per day for essential travel only.

When the Victorian and NSW borders open, Qantas and Jetstar will operate up to 18 return flights per day, increasing to up to 37 return flights per day by Christmas.

Additional capacity will be added on other routes to and from Sydney and Melbourne, as restrictions are lifted by other states and territories.

“We’ve said for months that the key factor in ramping up international flying would be the quarantine requirement. The decision by the NSW Government to join many cities from around the world by removing quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers means we’re able to add these flights from Sydney much earlier than we would have otherwise,” Joyce said

“We hope that as vaccination rates in other states and territories increase, we’ll be able to restart more international flights out of their capital cities. In the meantime, Sydney is our gateway to the rest of the world.”

Fleet update

Qantas has further accelerated the return of its fleet of A380 aircraft.

Originally expected to remain in long term storage in the Californian desert until the end of 2023, the Group announced in August that five A380s with upgraded cabins would return from July 2022 to operate Los Angeles and London flights. This is now being brought forward a further three months, with two of the A380s to commence flights to Los Angeles from April 2022. One aircraft could arrive by the end of this year to assist with crew training ahead of its return to service.

A further three A380s will return to service from mid-November 2022 with the remaining five expected to return to service by early 2024.

Qantas is also looking to bring forward delivery of three brand new 787-9 aircraft, currently in storage with Boeing, several months earlier than planned as demand increases.

 

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