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Amazon: It’s not our job to worry about fears we’re killing retailers and destroying jobs

James Clarke



Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.


Amazon is a $178 billion disruptor in the retail sector. Its sheer scale has marked it out as a target for US President Donald Trump, who reportedly obsesses over the company’s impact on the US Postal Service, the amount of tax it pays, and the harm it could cause other retailers.

“Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers,” Trump tweeted in August . “Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt – many jobs being lost!”

But don’t expect Amazon to start worrying about its impact anytime soon.

In an interview with The Sunday Times , Russell Grandinetti, Amazon’s senior vice president of international consumer, said his job was to focus on growth — and it’s for others to figure out how to deal with any ripples Amazon creates in the marketplace.

“Companies have often invented technologies that have then required us to figure out how to reinvest the productivity improvements in new jobs and new ways,” he said. “That’s an important societal thing to do, an important governmental thing to do. I don’t think it’s our job to do anything but try to be really good at what we do.”

The Sunday Times said investors would “cheer” his relentless focus on revenue but critics would worry he “is turning a blind eye to the disruption Amazon causes.”

Grandinetti did, however, address concerns that Amazon was destroying jobs, pointing to those it created. “We create lots of jobs not only in the company — 100,000 in the US last year alone, 5,000 in Britain — but also in the suppliers we serve,” he said.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said numerous times that the company is ready for a debate about regulation.

“If you look at the big tech companies, they have gotten large enough that they are going to be inspected,” he said at an event in Germany in April . “It’s not personal.”

The Amazon CEO said policing the power of online companies was “one of the great questions of our age” because as the internet has reached a level of maturity over the past decade “we haven’t learned as a civilization, as a human species, how to operate it yet.”

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