Quoted: She said, he said — MacKenzie Bezos vs. author of book on Amazon

“I have firsthand knowledge of many of the events. I worked for Jeff (Bezos) at D. E. Shaw, I was there when he wrote the business plan, and I worked with him and many others represented in the converted garage, the basement warehouse closet, the barbecue-scented offices, the Christmas-rush distribution centers, and the door-desk filled conference rooms in the early years of Amazon’s history. Jeff and I have been married for 20 years.”

MacKenzie Bezos, in a lengthy review on Amazon.com of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” takes journalist and author Brad Stone to task for what she says are “too many inaccuracies” and misrepresentation of the culture at the world’s largest online retailer.

The New York Times says the book, which was released about a month ago, “gives Mr. Bezos his due as a visionary.” But as Dan Nakaso wrote for SiliconBeat, the book also includes an unflattering portrait of Bezos berating his employees. Among the quotes:

I’m sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?

If I hear that idea again, I’m gonna have to kill myself.

Why are you wasting my life?

As for Bloomberg Businessweek’s Stone, he has written a response to Mrs. Bezos’ “slapdown,” saying he is open to correcting errors, but that he believes he did due diligence:

Mrs. Bezos also suggests that there are a handful of factual errors in my account. As a journalist with a two-decade record of accuracy, that troubles me a great deal more. I spoke to more than 300 people for my book—among them current and former Amazon employees, rivals, partners, and customers. They gave generously of their time, memories, and documents to help me fill in the gaps in Amazon’s history that, as my sources pointed out, were sometimes left intentionally.


Photo: Amazon.com founder, president and CEO Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie Bezos in 2012.  (Associated Press archives)


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