Betabeat has long harbored a not-so-secret suspicion that Jeff Bezos might actually be Lex Luthor. Well, fire up your word processor and get ready to write some crossover fanfic, because a new profile in Bloomberg Businessweek, excerpted from a coming book by writer Brad Stone, essentially confirms at least one major overlap: Jeff Bezos loves pitching a good fit at his henchmen.
Apparently some of his employees call his angry fits “nutters.” Take this anecdote of his response to a poorly planned-out update: “He called me a ‘complete f------ idiot’ and said he had no idea why he hired idiots like me at the company, and said, ‘I need you to clean up your organization.”
But it’s not all f-bombs and fury. Sometimes he layers on the snark:
[After reading a start-of-meeting memo] “This document was clearly written by the B team. Can someone get me the A team document? I don’t want to waste my time with the B team document.”
In another example, this is what happened when Mr. Bezos decided Amazon needed newsletters to kick its email marketing efforts up a notch, but the prototypes disappointed him:
“The headlines need to be punchier,” he told the group, which included the writers of the material. “And some of this is just bad writing. If you were doing this as a blogger, you would starve.”
It’s not that Mr. Bezos just loves being mean, insists one long-time employee. It’s just that he can neither believe nor tolerate your breathtaking incompetence: “This is not somebody who takes pleasure at tearing someone a new a--hole…. He is not that kind of person. Jeff doesn’t tolerate stupidity, even accidental stupidity.”
Oh, and that loud, supervillain-y laugh? It’s pretty much the last thing you hear before you die:
“You can’t misunderstand it,” says Rick Dalzell, Amazon’s former chief information officer, who says Bezos often wields his laugh when others fail to meet his lofty standards. “It’s disarming and punishing. He’s punishing you.”
Raise your hand if you have ever felt personally victimized by
Regina George Jeff Bezos.