When he gathers Amazon employees for an all-hands meeting, Jeff Bezos is probably used to trying to convey what’s on his mind and where the company is headed. Last week in Seattle, how the CEO is coping with a variety of personal and public crises was definitely a topic worth exploring.
CNBC reported on Monday that it had listened to a recording from the employees-only meeting and heard Bezos address for the first time some of the issues in his life that have raised concern, including his divorce and a nasty fight with the National Enquirer over his relationship with another woman.
An employee asked the CEO if any significant changes are expected because of everything that’s happened to him over the last two months, CNBC reported.
“If you don’t mind, just raise your hand, if maybe — just maybe — you’ve had a better start to your 2019 than I have. Anybody?” Bezos said. “I noticed that a couple hands didn’t come up — I’m sorry for you guys.”
Bezos went on to say that he is “as engaged and focused on Amazon as ever. I still tap dance into the office. I get to work with remarkable people. I get to live and work in the future. And that’s where I like to be, so thank you.”
— Sidbro (@sidbr0) March 5, 2019
Bezos announced on Jan. 9 that he and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, decided to divorce after 25 years of marriage. In the days after that announcement, the Enquirer published an exclusive cover story with images detailing what it called “the cheating photos that ended his marriage.”
On Feb. 7, Bezos published a stunning post on Medium in which the Amazon founder accused the Enquirer and its parent company American Media Inc. of extortion. He said that AMI had threatened to publish a number of explicit photos of Bezos if he didn’t call off a private investigation into how his text messages to alleged girlfriend Lauren Sanchez had been leaked.
Bezos clearly sought to send a signal that while the breakup of his marriage and spat with the tabloid could be perceived as a distraction for the head of the tech giant, he was fully focused on running the company.
In the time since, the nude photo scandal has been fodder for late-night television, and Amazon has also had to deal with the public relations fallout after pulling out of its plan to open a large new office in New York City as part of its much-hyped HQ2 sweepstakes.