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Warren Buffett on Amazon’s cloud success: 'You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a 7-year head start'

    • Warren Buffett believes Jeff Bezos is an extraordinary businessman.
    • "I never seen any person develop two really important industries at the same time and really be the operational guy in both," he said in an interview last year.
    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
    Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

    Earlier this month Warren Buffett said at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting that he made a mistake by underestimating Jeff Bezos and not investing in Amazon.

    But this wasn't the first time the billionaire investor shared his positive view on the founder of Amazon. In a 2017 interview video clip found using CNBC's Warren Buffett Archive, he explained why Bezos is so extraordinary.

    "I was impressed with Jeff early. I never thought he could pull off what he did," Buffett said last year. "And the remarkable thing about Jeff and everything else is he's done it in two industries [e-commerce and cloud computing] almost simultaneously that really don't have much connection. I never seen any person develop two really important industries at the same time and really be the operational guy in both."

    The investor said the lack of early significant competition for Amazon Web Services benefited the company's ability to dominate the new industry.

    "Here you take cloud services," he said in 2017. Bezos "thought he would have two years of runway. He got seven years. You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year head start."

    Also this year Buffett called what the Amazon CEO accomplished unprecedented.

    "I had very, very, very high opinion of Jeff's ability when I first met him, and I underestimated him," he said at the Berkshire Hathaway 2018 annual shareholders meeting. "I've watched Amazon from the start. I think what Jeff Bezos has done is something close to a miracle."

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