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