The transformation of Bezos: from Gu Jiawen to the tabloid star

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Titanium Media Note: this article comes from Tencent Technology, reviser: Cheng Xi, titanium media is authorized to reprint.

A group of celebrities, Silicon Valley giants and Hollywood executives gathered at the home of television producer Mark Burnett (Mark Burnett) in Malibu (Malibu) on a Saturday night last September, according to foreign media reports. Attend a party to celebrate the (Vivi Nevo) birthday of venture capitalist Vivinevo.

One of the richest is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth about $125 billion. A guest who knew Bezos said he sat in the middle of the crowd and seemed to enjoy the spotlight.

A flashy party is not what many people expect. Until recently, the billionaire struggled to portray himself as an ordinary, even shy, family man. Some passers-by were surprised to see Bezos in such an environment.

For more than 20 years, Bezos has established a public image of a low-key billionaire. He washes his dishes every night, lives a happy family life, values ​​frugality, and is a little nerdy at work. Recently, as Amazon expanded to the entertainment industry, the e-commerce entrepreneur began to wear the cloak of another public figure. He began to be photographed by the paparazzi and publicly appeared in front of the movie star, and also talked to a girlfriend in Hollywood.

The change became apparent on the second day of his announcement on Twitter on January 9 that his wife, who had been married for 25 years, was about to divorce. At the time, The National Ququirer reported on his affair with his wife, the chairman of a top Hollywood artist's board of directors (a former entertainment presenter), including details of two people's private text messages.

Last week, Bezos responded in an unusual public article that accused the American company, the parent company of the National Inquiries, of threatening to publish embarrassing photos and extort money. His article also sparked a suspicion that other people with political motives deliberately "make him."

The news that Bezos's marriage broke up has raised concerns among employees and shareholders about the impact it will have on Amazon and other assets he owns, including the Washington Post (Washington Post) and Blue Origin.

People close to Bezos believe that the couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement, which may allow Bezos to lose a large stake in the company.

People familiar with the matter said that the incident has caused a reaction within Amazon. At Amazon, some senior executives felt kept in the dark by the tweet and his subsequent letter. Other employees said Bezos's personal details made the executive more human.

So far, the tabloid storm does not seem to have affected Amazon's operations. A person familiar with Bezos's schedule said he remained in Seattle most of the time, running the company's core business.

GulLane Capital LLC executive partner Trip Miller (which holds Amazon shares worth about $12 million) said: "From a shareholder's point of view, as long as it is legal, what he did in his life Things are usually not a problem. If what he does in his personal life distracts his ability to run a company, then this becomes a problem."

Bezos' article on Thursday was "a little strange, you don't know what to say because it's already published there," he added.

Joshua Weinstein (Joshua Weinstein), a close friend at Bezos High School, said the two had been in touch since the latest news: "he's the cutest, best Jeff I've known for 40 years."

In contrast, another long-time partner of Bezos is eager to get an explanation and said he does not know the executive. "It doesn't look like Jeff at all," said the partner.

In other ways, the situation has become chaotic. Bezos' security adviser Gavin de Becker (Gavin De Becker) has identified Bezos' girlfriend Lauren Sanchez's brother Michael Sanchez (Michael Sanchez) as the subject of an investigation into the leak. This triggered a fierce battle between the two men. Michael Sanchez denied that he was a whistleblower.

Amazon declined to allow Bezos to be interviewed. Amazon spokesman Jay Carney (JayCarney) said: "I didn't know you were selling hot nonsense from supermarket tabloids."

A spokesman for American Media declined to comment, recommending a statement issued earlier by the company that "the American media strongly believe that the company's actions are lawful in reporting the news story of Bezos." And is "negotiating in good faith to resolve all problems with him".

Family man

Bezos met his wife, MacKenzie Tuttle, at D.E. Shaw, a financial services company in New York. Soon after 1993, the two married. They moved to Seattle to pursue Bethos's business philosophy, and Mackenzie followed her literary passion.

In 1994, Bezos created Amazon in his own garage, and Mackenzie served as an accountant for Amazon. She participated in the overall strategy meeting and worked with Bezos and other employees to help put the books that consumers bought into the box. They work 12 hours a day and rarely take vacations on weekends, says Tod Nelson, one of the first 10 employees. “In some ways, she is our first CFO.”

Soon after Amazon went public in 1997, Bezos became a billionaire, but he had been driving a Honda Accord, saying in an interview on TV show 60 minutes that it was "a very good car." In 1999, he replaced the car with a Volvo and frequented a nearby Indian restaurant, according to an article in the Seattle Times at the time.

In an interview with Playboy magazine in 2000, he said that although he had bought a beautiful house, "I haven't fundamentally changed", "of course, people on Amazon, including me, are lucky winners." However, since people's personalities are mainly determined at the age of 25, winning a lottery doesn't change them much. "

After Amazon's business started, Mackenzie began raising their four children while writing novels to educate their children.

Beyond Amazon, Bezos began pursuing other careers. Including the creation of the rocket launch company "Blue Origin" in 2000, Bezos transferred the $1 billion Amazon stock to the company every year, calling it his real legacy and fund.

He spent $42 million to build a clock for a friend who will ring once a year for 10,000 years. In 2013, he acquired the Washington Post and raised his profile in politics.

In 2012, Bezos was appointed honorary chairman of the Met Gala in New York, and the Bezoss appeared more frequently in the public, often in the presence of big stars.

In an interview in 2014, Bezos said he washes dishes every night at home in Seattle. And while his wealth is soaring, he spends 80 to 90 percent of his time in Seattle.

After turning Amazon into a shopping and cloud computing giant, Bezos became more involved in Amazon's entertainment division, a relatively small project. People familiar with the matter said he had made his love of films public, adding to the pressure on his subordinates to complete deals on film and television projects.

That year, Amazon Studios, which was responsible for the original content of film and television, expanded in Los Angeles and began to aggressively enter the entertainment industry. One analyst estimated that the studio spent about $5 billion on programming last year. It has been successful, including Emmy's award-winning film "The Marvelous Ms Maisel" and the Oscar-winning film "Manchester by the Sea", the former being released for the first time in 2017, the latter in 2016 Received an Oscar for the year.

The studio's original design was to attract (Prime), Amazon's mailers, and allow those members to buy more items on Amazon.

Bezos and his former colleagues said that Bezos had been in the start-up entertainment department for a while, as he did on emerging projects such as robots or drones, when he took the company more Multi-business entrusted to the deputy.

One of Bezos’s core leadership creeds is frugal, which is one of Bezos’ principles of doing things. However, Amazon Studio seems to be more carefree than its parent company in terms of spending, in part because of the nature of Hollywood.

A person involved in the talks said he sent an email to the heir to the estate of author J.R.Tolkien when Bezos tried to secure copyright in the adaptation of (Lord Of The Rings), the Lord of the Rings. To ensure that these novels are well taken care of. Bezos is a big fan of the fantasy novel.

He signed a $250 million deal to turn it into a TV series, an eye-popping number for many in Hollywood. The former colleague said the cost of each episode was about $10 million, comparable to HBO's Game of Thrones, and with marketing and budget overruns, the first 20 episodes could cost as much as $750 million.

Bezos' feelings and interest in the novel appeared to add to the pressure to conclude the deal, leaving the executive wondering whether it had led to the eventual high price.

An executive at Amazon Studio said: "Jeff's personal enthusiasm for it helped to tilt the right to adapt the novel to us, but it didn't drive the price we paid for it." He added that at least one competitor offered more than Amazon.

red carpet

As Amazon's interest in the entertainment business grows, Bethos's connections with celebrities are also growing. Amazon's "Campfire" is an annual gathering of famous thinkers. Most of the guests on the guest list are novelists (McKenzi is a novelist). One participant said that the event was dominated by celebrities such as Reese Wither Spoon and tycoons.

As Amazon began to grow in Hollywood, Bezos finally met Ms Sanchez, who would change his life.

Sanchez's husbands Patrick Whitesell (Patrick Whitesell) and Ali Emanuel (Ari Emanuel) reportedly run Endeavour, a company founded in 1898 by William Morris Brokerage. It is reported that Sanchez and Whitesell have broken up.

Whitesell introduced Bezos to 49-year-old Sanchez and they became friendly and even started dating, according to people familiar with Bezos.

The 53-year-old Whitesel led the careers of stars such as Matt Damon and John Krasinski, the Amazon-made "Jack Ryan" series. The star in the middle. Bezos became a frequent visitor to Endeavor's annual Oscar party, which featured stars such as Justin Timberlake and Leonardo DiCaprio.

In 2013, Mackenzie was rarely interviewed to promote her novel. She said that although her husband was a “very social person”, she found that the cocktail party was “somewhat confusing”. “Simple chills, the number of chills – this is not my favorite place.”

Her husband seemed to embrace the scene. At the 2017 Golden Globe, Jimmy Fallon (Jimmy Fallon) joked that Bezos had arrived the day before, but that no one had signed him. Shot at the smiling billionaire, Bezos was the only non-movie star in the crowd mentioned in the opening remarks.

That year, he bought a property in Beverly Hills next to a mansion he had owned since 2007. For the first time, he became a regular guest of TMZ, an online gossip blog.

He began to appear more frequently as an Amazon spokesperson, appearing for the first time in the company's television ads for Alexa devices in the 2018 Super Bowl (Super Bowl) contest. He is a burly man, wearing a tight POLO shirt and showing off his biceps at his annual media conference in (SunValley), Idaho, in 2017.

Flight records show that in 2018, he traveled to the Los Angeles area at least 25 times on a private jet, about twice as much as the previous year.

In July last year, Bloomberg announced that Bezos was the richest man in modern history, even after adjusting for inflationary factors.

A few days later, an old friend saw Bezos's photos, videos and huge headlines on the TMZ page. Bezos was previously captured by a series of paparazzi shots at Craig's (Craig's). Craig's is a magnet for Western Hollywood celebrities, often shooting diners like Kurtney Kardashian (Kourtney Kardashian) by a large group of photographers.

If you go there, you know there will be a paparazzi, said the old friend. A person close to bezos said he has not changed the habit of having to eat at a restaurant.

Bezos said in an interview last September that he never pursued what is known as the richest man in the world and would rather be called an entrepreneur and father.

Beginning last fall, the National Enquiry reporter began tracking Bezos and Sanchez to restaurants and hotels. The two were found in high-profile locations such as the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the news surprised some Amazon executives and acquaintances who said they thought Bezos had always been a cautious person.

Sanchez did not respond to requests for comment. After leaving the television industry, she set up a helicopter photography company called Black Mobile Aviation (Black Ops Aviation). One person familiar with the matter said Bezos asked her to run the project on behalf of his space company Blue Origin (Blue Original). She completed production of the company's promotional video in December 2017.

People familiar with the matter said that she and Bezos became more intimate after Sanchez began making a documentary about the Blue Origins company and a possible Super Bowl ad. The person familiar with the matter said that she flew to a different destination and co-produced a film with Bezos. The two started a relationship last year.

In March 2018, Sanchez cheered Bezos as he played table tennis with robots at an Amazon event in (Palm Springs), Calif., in Palm Springs, Calif.

Bezos spent several days with his family in the Seattle area after the divorce was announced, a person familiar with the matter said.

Depending on the progress of the divorce proceedings, Mackenzie may be entitled to half the couple's wealth, which could give her an important vote in Amazon, depending on their agreement. The result could change Bezos's stake in Amazon, which now holds 16 of the $780 billion market value. Such a distribution of wealth would make Mackenzie the richest woman in the world.

Mackenzie did not respond to requests for comment submitted through Amazon.

Terry Price, a professor of law at the University of Washington, said that if the Bezos filed a divorce petition in Washington State, much of the information in the relevant documents might be made public because the state’s courts were difficult Confidentiality of litigation. He said the couple may file documents in another state where they own the property to avoid such disclosure.

A person familiar with the matter said Bezos had planned to announce a divorce later this year, but revelations in the National Enquirer forced him to make an early announcement.

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