Jeff Bezos declines Washington Post interview about his Washington Post acquisition

bezosamazonpodThe Washington Post this weekend published an epic profile of its soon-to-be owner, Jeff Bezos, with contributions from six reporters and comments from friends and former colleagues of Bezos giving insights into the tech mogul who has agreed to pay $250 million for the iconic newspaper.

But one person was notably absent from the piece: Bezos himself. The Post notes that Bezos declined to be interviewed for the article, leaving his motivations for buying the newspaper “mostly a mystery.”

The piece quotes from Bezos’ introductory memo to Post employees, in which he promised that the “values of The Post do not need changing.” The story also offers insights into Bezos’ personality from some of his past comments.

But the fact that Bezos declined to comment for the piece is also glimpse into his mindset: The Amazon CEO, and by extension Amazon, like to do things on their own terms, when it’s to their own strategic advantage, and they aren’t worried about people not grasping what they’re doing in the meantime.

As Bezos famously put it at a past Amazon meeting, success often means you have to “willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.”

In this case, he probably doesn’t have a lot of good answers about his plans for the newspaper. As he put it in his memo to employees, “There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy.” But his memo didn’t address the question of why he’s making the acquisition, which means we’ll have to resort to speculating — and most likely misunderstanding — for the time being.

Check out the Washington Post’s profile of Bezos here.

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