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Monday, February 25, 2013

Strategic CSR - Amazon

The article in the url below is an interview with Jeff Bezos of Amazon to complement his ‘appointment’ by Harvard Business Review as “the greatest living CEO.” The quotes below focus on his views on the importance of long-term thinking in his position:

“If you’re long-term oriented, customer interests and shareholder interests are aligned. … We take it as an article of faith that if we put customers first, other stakeholders will also benefit, as long as they’re willing to take the long-term view. And a long-term approach is essential for invention, because you’re going to have a lot of failures along the way.”

“… if we had always needed to see significant financial results in two or three years, then some of the most meaningful things we’ve done would never have been started—like Kindle, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Prime.”

“I do not follow the stock on a daily basis, because I don’t think there’s any information in it. The economist Benjamin Graham once said, ‘In the short term, the stock market is a voting machine. In the long term, it’s a weighing machine.’ We try to build a company that wants to be weighed, not voted on.”

Two thoughts—First, I love the Benjamin Graham quote; second, I thought the qualifier in the first quote, “as long as they’re willing to take the long-term view,” is revealing. It reinforces the view that corporate stakeholder responsibility is as important as corporate social responsibility (see Strategic CSR – Corporate Stakeholder Responsibility).

Take care

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The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at:

The Best-Performing CEOs in the World
By Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra & Urs Peyer
January – February, 2013
Harvard Business Review
pp.84-85 (article is pp.81-95)