Voici la lettre d’adieu de Jeff Bezos aux employés d’Amazon

Le fondateur d’Amazon, Jeff Bezos, quittera son poste de CEO dès le troisième trimestre de cette année. Après 27 années passées à la tête de la petite librairie en ligne devenue l’une des plus grandes entreprises du monde, le dirigeant a envoyé une lettre d’adieu à ses employés.

Dans sa lettre, Jeff Bezos se remémore notamment l’époque où ‘Amazon n’était qu’une idée’. ‘La question qu’on me posait le plus souvent était: « Qu’est-ce que l’internet? »’, se souvient-il. ‘Heureusement, je n’ai pas eu à l’expliquer longtemps.’

Si le futur ex-patron ne devait résumer ses 27 années passées à la tête de l’entreprise qu’à un seul mot, ce serait ‘invention’, poursuit-il.

‘Le plus grand compliment qu’un inventeur puisse recevoir’

‘L’invention est à la base de notre succès. Nous avons fait des choses folles ensemble, puis nous les avons rendues normales. Nous avons été les pionniers des évaluations clients, du 1-Click, des recommandations personnalisées, de la livraison incroyablement rapide (…) et bien plus encore’, détaille-t-il. ‘Si vous faites bien les choses, quelques années après une invention surprenante, la nouveauté devient normale. Les gens bâillent. Et ce bâillement est le plus grand compliment qu’un inventeur puisse recevoir.’

Deux points en particulier semblent susciter la fierté de Jeff Bezos, ressort-il de sa lettre: le salaire minimum de 15 dollars pour les employés d’Amazon et l’engagement de l’entreprise en faveur du climat, notamment via le Climate Pledge.

‘Laissez la curiosité être votre boussole’

Mais Jeff Bezos prévient aussi que son départ du poste de CEO ne signifie pas qu’il compte prendre sa retraite. Il restera notamment président exécutif du board d’Amazon, une fonction dans laquelle il a l’intention ‘de concentrer (s)es énergies et (s)on attention sur les nouveaux produits et les récentes initiatives.’

‘Mais j’aurai aussi le temps et l’énergie nécessaires pour me concentrer sur le Day 1 Fund (un fonds qui vise à aider les familles sans abri, ndlr), le Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post et mes autres passions’, ajoute-t-il.

Et l’homme le plus riche du monde (ou le second, selon les fluctuations de la bourse) de conclure: ‘Continuez à inventer et ne désespérez pas lorsque l’idée vous paraîtra folle au début. N’oubliez pas d’errer. Laissez la curiosité être votre boussole. C’est toujours le Jour 1.’

Lire aussi:

La lettre complète de Jeff Bezos, en anglais:

Fellow Amazonians,

I’m excited to announce that this Q3 I’ll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board and Andy Jassy will become CEO. In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence.

This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name. The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, “What’s the internet?” Blessedly, I haven’t had to explain that in a long while.

Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognized as one of the most successful companies in the world.

How did that happen? Invention. Invention is the root of our success. We’ve done crazy things together, and then made them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalized recommendations, Prime’s insanely-fast shipping, Just Walk Out shopping, the Climate Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, infrastructure cloud computing, Career Choice, and much more. If you get it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. And that yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive.

I don’t know of another company with an invention track record as good as Amazon’s, and I believe we are at our most inventive right now. I hope you are as proud of our inventiveness as I am. I think you should be.

As Amazon became large, we decided to use our scale and scope to lead on important social issues. Two high-impact examples: our $15 minimum wage and the Climate Pledge. In both cases, we staked out leadership positions and then asked others to come along with us. In both cases, it’s working. Other large companies are coming our way. I hope you’re proud of that as well.

I find my work meaningful and fun. I get to work with the smartest, most talented, most ingenious teammates. When times have been good, you’ve been humble. When times have been tough, you’ve been strong and supportive, and we’ve made each other laugh. It is a joy to work on this team.

As much as I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition. Millions of customers depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods. Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else. As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions. I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.

Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future. We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish. We serve individuals and enterprises, and we’ve pioneered two complete industries and a whole new class of devices. We are leaders in areas as varied as machine learning and logistics, and if an Amazonian’s idea requires yet another new institutional skill, we’re flexible enough and patient enough to learn it.

Keep inventing, and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy. Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1.


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