Will Jeff Bezos return to Amazon and put investors out of their misery? - The Average Joe


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    Will Jeff Bezos return to Amazon and put investors out of their misery?


    January 4, 2023

    Time for a big 2023 prediction. Michael Batnick of Ritholtz Wealth Management made a 2023 call that Jeff Bezos will return to Amazon.

    Amazon has lost nearly half its value since Andy Jassy took over — even underperforming major benchmarks.

    But Bezos owns nearly 10% of Amazon’s shares worth nearly $90B. Is this enough of an incentive to bring him back?

    In 2022, we saw several high-profile CEOs return, including Bob Iger (Disney) and Howard Schultz (Starbucks).

    Returning CEOs haven’t always correlated to better returns.

    • Since Schultz returned, $SBUX has been up 17%.
    • Since Iger returned, $DIS has been down 7%.

    Bezos’ return could reverse investor sentiment — but Jassy might not be the only one at fault.

    Blame the market or management?

    While sales continued growing over the past two years, Amazon’s profits have steadily trended down — even recording several quarters of losses in 2022.

    • Prime membership growth slowed to 5% in 2022 from 28% the year before.
    • In its most recent quarter, Amazon recorded its slowest increase (7.2%) in 20 years.

    Like other tech companies, Amazon overhired and is in the process of laying off 20K employees (~6% of its corporate staff).

    What’s worse? Having an underperforming CEO or having a CEO that’s busy playing with his new toy?

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