Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive at IAC, shared his views on tech giants Yahoo, Apple, Google and Twitter during an appearance on Bloomberg TV. But when it came to Amazon, Diller used words such as “astounding” and “genius” and predicted more great things for CEO Jeff Bezos.
“The facts of Amazon are astounding,” Diller said on “Bloomberg<GO>.” “From the very first hour of the first day, what Amazon and Jeff Bezos has said is, ‘We’re going to build infrastructure to serve customers. And we don’t care about anything else.’ So it’s an endless period of investment. I will make you a little prediction — Jeff Bezos will be the richest person in the world within, I don’t know, certainly within 5-7 years. I think that’s hands down.”
(Diller’s Amazon remarks start at the 3:00 mark in the video above.)
“Bloomberg<GO>” co-host David Westin said to Diller, “At some point you have to make money off of it. It can’t be, literally, an endless period of investment.”
But Diller responded by saying that Amazon does indeed make money.
“Their cash flow has been very good,” Diller said. “They reinvest all of it, which is why it is going to be one of the most valuable companies in the world. That’s why. Insane, insane attention to pleasing the customer at whatever it costs. Their Amazon Prime is genius.”
Co-host Stephanie Ruhle countered by asking, “At the cost of all retail? … We’ve seen the retail industry get shellacked. Anyone who is even selling the same product Amazon does is just getting carried out. Does that mean it’s the death of all other retailers?”
“No!” Diller said. “Something doesn’t have to die for somebody to live.”
“Walmart’s getting a shellacking,” Ruhle said, based on news this month that the retail giant is closing 154 stores this year.
“They’re doing ok,” Diller said.