Amazon’s Bezo updates his UAV intentions
April 11, 2014, New York, N.Y. - CEO Jeff Bezos' annual letter to shareholders offers a glimpse into Amazon's internal workings and what it is aiming for in the future, including more grocery services and the much-discussed drone delivery.
April 11, 2014 By The Associated Press
In the letter released Thursday, Bezos outlined Amazon's offerings,
including its fresh grocery business called Prime Fresh, which it has
offered for five years in Seattle and expanded to Los Angeles and San
Francisco. For $299 a year members get same-day and early morning
delivery on groceries and other items ranging from toys to electronics
and household goods. Bezos said the goal is to expand to more cities
After making a hubbub about testing delivery by aerial
drones in December, the company said its Prime Air team is testing
fifth- and sixth-generation aerial vehicles and in the design phase on
generations seven and eight. In December Bezos said Amazon was working
on creating unmanned aircraft to deliver packages, but said it would
take years to advance the technology and for the Federal Aviation
Administration to create the necessary rules and regulations.
In a quirk, Bezos also said Amazon offers
employees money to leave the company, a program called Pay to Quit,
modeled after a similar program at Zappos. Once a year, the company
offers $2,000 to quit, adding $1,000 a year, up to a maximum of $5,000.
"The goal is to encourage folks
to take a moment and think about what they really want," Bezos said. "In
the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don't want to be isn't
healthy for the employee or the company."
Amazon.com Inc. has changed the consumer
shopping landscape, transforming itself into the largest U.S. online
retailer, selling books, gadgets and most everything else, usually at
cheaper prices than its competitors. The Seattle company has long
focused on spending the money it makes to add business and expand into
new areas, from movie streaming to e-readers, grocery delivery and most
recently a set-top streaming device called Fire TV.
Investors have largely forgiven
thin profit margins and zeroed in on the company's solid revenue growth
and long-term prospects. In its most recent quarter, the company said
net income and revenue both grew but results fell short of expectations.
Amazon's stock is down 17 per cent from the beginning of the year.