Democracy dies in the dark

"Democracy dies in the dark"

The Amazon boss and founder Jeff Bezos has been honored with the Axel Springer Award. The 54-year-old American internet entrepreneur accepted the award in Berlin. Axel Springer honors Bezos ’“ visionary entrepreneurship in the internet economy ”as well as the consistent digitization strategy of the 140-year-old US traditional newspaper“ Washington Post ”. Bezos took over the newspaper in 2013 as a private citizen.

According to "Forbes" magazine, the richest man in the world came to the Axel Springer house on Tuesday evening. First it went to the interview with WELT. He feels very honored and thanks also on behalf of the Amazon employees for the award. When asked about the future of journalism, Bezos responded with the new motto of the “Washington Post”: “Democracy dies in the dark.” That is why the work of the press is extremely important: “I think that it is the job of journalists on the whole The world is that they question people and powerful institutions. ”Overall, he sees the future of journalism very optimistically.

The same applies to relations between the United States and Germany. Both countries shared common values ​​that the states were "best allies". The American President Donald Trump had repeatedly criticized the Amazon company - presumably also because of the extremely critical attitude of the “Washington Post”.

The laudation for Jeff Bezos was given by John Elkann, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fiat Group. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE, then spoke to the Amazon founder in front of the invited guests. "Jeff Bezos is the winner of the Axel Springer Award 2018 because he was the first to recognize the potential of trading in goods on the Internet almost a quarter of a century ago and invented a global company with Amazon and led it to unique economic success," said Döpfner, explaining the choice of this year's winner. Bezos pursued his idea for years with "extraordinary foresight" and created a new offer that significantly changed the everyday life of consumers worldwide. In his business models, he is driven by his maxim of uncompromising focus on people as customers and readers.

In fact, Bezos has now forged an all-encompassing corporation from the former online bookseller headquartered in Seattle on the north-west coast of the United States - and in doing so, mostly on the right trend, even against internal resistance. Bezos has expanded the company in all directions and seems to be overflowing with ideas. There is practically nothing that cannot be bought on Amazon. If Amazon doesn't have it, then it is one of the millions of retailers who sell their products via Bezos' platform. And every time Amazon earns with it. Bezos is on the verge of breaking the $ 200 billion sales mark with Amazon. The Internet company is experimenting with drones, is building its own airport in the US state of Kentucky for a billion sum, and is investing in trucks. The group operates the world's largest cloud computing provider and streams music and videos. With its Kindle, Amazon is the global e-book market leader. The company is one of the pioneers in artificial intelligence, and it invests a lot of money in research and development. The digital assistant Alexa and the echo loudspeakers are in millions of households. Most recently, “Bloomberg” reported that Amazon is working on a robot for private users.

While Amazon is Jeff Bezos' biggest project, it is not his only one. “With the acquisition of the newspaper 'The Washington Post', he created the prerequisites to revive the innovative strength and experimentation of a troubled traditional brand and to give new courage to an insecure industry,” said Döpfner when the award winner was announced. But his ambitions go even further. The Amazon boss is also the founder of the space company Blue Origin, which aims to reduce the cost of space travel and enable a future in which millions of people live and work in space.

Amazon is not undisputed in Germany. The service union Ver.di has been rubbing against the group for years and wants to enforce a collective agreement at retail level for the 12,000 permanent employees in this country. Amazon is opposed to this. There are always strikes in the logistics centers. In front of the Axel Springer publishing house, several hundred union members protested for a collective agreement during the award ceremony on Tuesday evening. The speakers included the Ver.di chairman Frank Bsirske, the SPD party and parliamentary group chairman Andrea Nahles and the party chairman of the Left, Bernd Riexinger.