Amazon Faces Economic Challenges, Continues Cost-Cutting

Amazon is continuing the cost-cutting that CEO Andy Jassy emphasized when the company reported a $2 billion loss in Q2. The company is shutting down Amazon Explore, a virtual tourism initiative launched during the COVID-19 lockdown, unplugging the robotics ventures Canvas and ORCA, and dimming the lights on the Amazon Glow, a video-calling projector for kids. In recent weeks, Amazon also confirmed the end of field tests for the autonomous delivery service Scout. This in the wake of a hiring freeze at its retail division and the closure of the Amazon Care telehealth venture. Continue reading Amazon Faces Economic Challenges, Continues Cost-Cutting

Amazon Reports Online Sales Are Down While Revenue Is Up

Amazon increased revenue by 7 percent to $121.2 billion in the second quarter, beating analyst expectations and sending the stock soaring 12 percent despite a $2 billion loss. That contrasts with a $7.8 billion profit for the same period last year. The loss was due in part to Amazon’s investment in the electric car company Rivian, whose value has plunged this year. “Despite continued inflationary pressures in fuel, energy, and transportation costs, we’re making progress on the more controllable costs we referenced last quarter, particularly improving the productivity of our fulfillment network,” said Amazon CEO Andy Jassy. Continue reading Amazon Reports Online Sales Are Down While Revenue Is Up

Amazon Plans to Continue Diversifying Despite Tough Times

Despite slowing e-commerce sales growth and signs of a global recession, Amazon plans to continue diversifying through investments like building a brick-and-mortar grocery chain, launching a satellite network for Internet delivery, expanding Alexa services, and developing self-driving cars — including through Zoox, an autonomous taxi subsidiary. That was the message from company CEO Andy Jassy at the Bloomberg Technology Summit in San Francisco. The remarks come after Amazon posted its first quarterly loss in seven years in Q1, which also marked the company’s slowest revenue growth since 2001. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Continue Diversifying Despite Tough Times

Amazon’s $3.8 Billon Quarterly Loss Is Its First in Seven Years

Electric vehicle maker Rivian, which produced almost $12 billion in profit for Amazon last year, cratered in the January through March period, prompting the retail giant to record a $7.6 billion loss on the investment. Overall, Amazon posted a $3.8 billion quarterly loss, its first in seven years and a contrast to profit of $8.1 billion during the same period in 2021. A 7 percent increase in quarterly revenue marked the tech giant’s most anemic performance in 20 years, as consumers adopted post-pandemic habits and resumed in-store shopping. Continue reading Amazon’s $3.8 Billon Quarterly Loss Is Its First in Seven Years

Amazon Profits Double While Q4 Operating Income Plunges

Amazon had a merry Q4, doubling net income to $14.3 billion from $7.2 billion the prior year. While quarterly revenue of $137.4 billion was up 9 percent due largely to its “biggest-ever” Black Friday to Cyber Monday shopping weekend, the profit surge was the result of a pre-tax gain of $11.8 billion from its investment in Rivian. The electric car manufacturer completed an initial public offering in November. The Amazon Web Services cloud unit grew revenue 40 percent to $17.8 billion, more than $5 billion of it income. Total 2021 revenue was $469.8 billion, up 22 percent. Continue reading Amazon Profits Double While Q4 Operating Income Plunges

Amazon Achieves Success in Gaming with MMO ‘New World’

After some false starts, Amazon has released its first hit original video game production, “New World,” and company CEO Andy Jassy is predicting games could become the biggest category in entertainment programming. The new MMORPG, fraught with archers and axe wielders colonizing a fantastical land, scored one of Steam’s biggest launches with more than one million players logging on for launch day last week. The momentum hasn’t slowed down, with more than 277,000 gameplay viewers on Amazon’s live streaming service Twitch and over 700,000 concurrent players on Steam. Continue reading Amazon Achieves Success in Gaming with MMO ‘New World’

White House Cybersecurity Summit Brings Leaders Together

At a White House summit, President Joe Biden asked leaders of Apple, Google, JPMorgan Chase and other major companies to step up their response to cybersecurity threats. The administration, which estimated that about half a million cybersecurity jobs remain unfilled, said it would assist in developing new guidelines for secure technology and assess the security of existing technology. Google, Microsoft, and insurance companies Travelers and Coalition have already signed on to the initiative. Microsoft plans to invest $20 billion over the next five years to integrate cybersecurity into its products and Google revealed its own $10 billion commitment. Continue reading White House Cybersecurity Summit Brings Leaders Together

Amazon Has Strong Q2, Earnings Helped by Cloud, Ad Sales

Amazon posted its third consecutive $100 billion quarter during Q2 this year; revenue grew 27 percent year-over-year to $113.08 billion. Refinitiv revealed earnings of $15.12 versus $12.30 per share, and revenue of $113.08 billion versus $115.2 billion. However, Amazon predicts slightly slower growth for the upcoming quarters. In Q3, the company estimates its operating profit would land somewhere between $2.5 billion and $6 billion. According to chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky, “most of Amazon’s 2021 spend and building openings are planned for the second-half of the year.” Continue reading Amazon Has Strong Q2, Earnings Helped by Cloud, Ad Sales

Jeff Bezos Steps Down, Andy Jassy Is the New Amazon Boss

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is stepping down as chief executive of the e-commerce and tech giant, elevating Andy Jassy, former head of the company’s web division, to the CEO position, making it one of the most high-profile executive swaps in years. But behind the scenes, more change has roiled the company with numerous executives departing in the last 18 months, many after working there for years. That’s unusual because many of Amazon’s top staffers started with the company in its earliest days, became wealthy via stock, and were considered loyal lifers. Continue reading Jeff Bezos Steps Down, Andy Jassy Is the New Amazon Boss

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Will Step Down as CEO on July 5

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will officially leave his position as chief executive on July 5, and Amazon Web Services chief executive Andy Jassy will take over the Amazon CEO position. The departure of Bezos was originally announced in a February earnings report but a specific date was not revealed. Bezos said July 5 is “sentimental” because it was the date Amazon was incorporated in 1994. Bezos will become executive chair, focusing his attention on “new products and early initiatives.” He said he expects Jassy to be “an outstanding leader.” Continue reading Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Will Step Down as CEO on July 5

National Security Commission on AI Pinpoints Chinese Threat

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence identified China as the first to challenge U.S. technological dominance since the end of World War II. To counter this potential threat to the United States, the 15-member commission issued a 756-page report urging a $40 billion investment in artificial intelligence research and development to be “AI ready” by 2025. The report also called for the U.S. to stay two generations ahead of China in semiconductor manufacturing. To that end, it suggested a significant tax credit for chip makers. Continue reading National Security Commission on AI Pinpoints Chinese Threat

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Steps Down After 26 Years at the Helm

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos is stepping down from the role he has held since he started the Big Tech company 26 years ago and will assume the role of executive chairman. Amazon Web Services head Andy Jassy will replace Bezos as Amazon’s new chief executive. Bezos hands over the reins during a time in which COVID-19 has helped the company achieve record-breaking sales, while it also faces regulatory and legal investigations. Personally, he vies with Tesla chief executive Elon Musk as the world’s wealthiest person. Continue reading Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Steps Down After 26 Years at the Helm

Big Tech Companies Pull Back on Facial Recognition Products

After years of dissent from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Fight for the Future and groups of academics, Big Tech companies are finally taking another look at their facial recognition products. Microsoft president Brad Smith stated his company won’t sell facial recognition to the police until federal regulation is instituted. Amazon placed a one-year moratorium on police use of its Rekognition software, and IBM backed away entirely from facial recognition products, citing the potential for abuse. Yesterday we reported that Congress introduced a police reform bill that includes limits on the use of facial recognition software. Continue reading Big Tech Companies Pull Back on Facial Recognition Products

AWS Expands Cloud Efforts with New Machine-Learning Tools

To compete in the profitable cloud-computing arena, Amazon Web Services debuted 20 new machine-learning tools this week at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. Tools include speech recognition and algorithms to automate decisions. The move helps Amazon compete better with Google and Microsoft, both of which are using their expertise in AI and machine learning to cut into its market share. Machine learning will also help potential developers that can’t create these capabilities on their own. Analysts estimate that Amazon dominates the cloud with a 44 percent market share. Continue reading AWS Expands Cloud Efforts with New Machine-Learning Tools

Google, Microsoft Develop New Ways to Compete with AWS

Amazon currently is the dominant cloud computing service; according to Amazon Web Services chief executive officer Andy Jassy, the company has several times as much business as the industry’s next busiest 14 providers combined. In the No. 2 and No. 3 spots are, respectively, Microsoft and Google, and both of them attempt to leverage their strengths and exploit perceived weaknesses of AWS to boost their own market share. Both companies see some strengths in AWS — its self-service model, for example — as vulnerabilities. Continue reading Google, Microsoft Develop New Ways to Compete with AWS