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Jeff Bezos: Super CEO or Supervillain?

Philip Michaels | Dec. 4, 2013
Now that he wants to deploy a fleet of airborne drones to deliver packages, we're beginning to think the Amazon CEO has more in common with Lex Luthor than with Sam Walton.

Your tech company's CEO is a bold, visionary leader recognized far and wide as an innovator in the industry. He or she never shies away from embracing Big Ideas or taking risks that most of us would dismiss as foolhardy. The press hangs on this charismatic technology guru's every word, waiting to see what wisdom he or she will reveal next.

And the CEO of your tech company is, in all likelihood, a supervillain.

Look, the eerie similarities between the movers and shakers of Silicon Valley and the banes of the Superfriends' existence have been staring us in the face for a while. Tech CEOs build wondrous gadgets? So do supervillains. Tech CEOs amass wealth and power that mere mortals can only dream of? That's a move straight out of the supervillain playbook. And tech CEOs do all this from sprawling campuses, with the assistance of an army of eager employees? Swap in "lairs" and "henchmen" for "campuses" and "employees" and you may as well be describing the Legion of Doom instead of Google or Apple.

Consider the case of Jeff Bezos, recently profiled on 60 Minutes. The television news program portrayed Amazon's CEO as a forward-thinking titan of digital industry; but as we watched the segment, we felt the unmistakable buzz of our Spidey Sense tingling. To answer the question on nearly everyone's lips this week—Is Jeff Bezos a Comic Book Supervillain?—we broke out a list of six sure signs of supervillainy to see where the Amazon CEOs ranks among the Doctor Dooms and Sinestros of the universe.

Your CEO has a fascination with rockets
Earlier this year, a Bezos-led expedition recovered rockets that were used to power Apollo moon missions—and that's not the only time Bezos has dallied with rockets. His Blue Origin private firm wants to build reusable rocket-powered space vehicles.

Hey, we all need hobbies, right? And rockets seem like a perfectly harmless way to pass the time—unless, of course, it's a rocket being built to destroy the Earth, like the one assembled in the Breakworld at the behest of Powerlord Kruun in Astonishing X-Men.

Still, we're sure Bezos's interest in space travel is perfectly harmless and not at all part of a plan to emulate the villainous Magneto, who lives in a satellite orbiting the Earth. Or is it?

Does this mean Jeff Bezos is a supervillain: Possibly.

Your CEO wants to control the media
More than a few eyebrows were raised this summer when Bezos ponied up $250 million to buy the Washington Post. Why would the CEO of an online retailer want to become a newspaper owner? Maybe the deal was the part of some grand vision to develop news content for Amazon's assorted Kindle devices?


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