Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, to say the least, is having a rough start to the year. But don't expect him to lose focus.
That was Bezos' message during Amazon's internal all-hands staff meeting last week, when an employee asked the CEO if any significant changes are expected because of everything that's happened to him over the last two months. Bezos is currently facing an impending divorce, a tabloid scandal and a publicity nightmare stemming from HQ2's pullout from New York, among many other things.
"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, according to a recording of the meeting CNBC has heard. "I noticed that a couple hands didn't come up — I'm sorry for you guys."
Bezos went on to reassure the employees that he has no plans to step back and is still fully engaged with the day-to-day management of the company. He said:
"But seriously, no. I am 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."
It was Bezos' first public comment to employees addressing the concerns about his work at Amazon as he's dealing with a series of issues — both personally and professionally — that could potentially distract him from running one of the largest companies in the world. While the comments reaffirm his commitment to work, questions remain on how exactly Bezos will get through one of the toughest periods of his career, corporate governance experts say.
"Given the stress he's under, I would think it'd be rather difficult to continue running the company in a normal fashion," said Charles Elson, a professor and director of the corporate governance center at the University of Delaware.
Amazon declined to comment.