He is French born, and he still speaks with the rather faded insouciance of Maurice Chevalier and “Gay Paree,” and he makes much of this in his lecture.
However, ten years later, there is a strong challenger for this dubious distinction—Amazon Corporation.
In December 2009 Mark Onetto, chief of operations and customer relations at Amazon and a close collaborator of Bezos, gave an hourlong lecture on the Amazon Way to master’s of business administration students at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
Onetto is a disconcerting figure, because once he starts talking, style and substance are in sharp contrast.
Like most such corporate mission statements, Onetto’s uses a coded language that hides the harshness of his underlying message, which needs translation along with a hefty reality check.
As with Walmart so at Amazon, there is a quasi-religious cult of the customer as an object of “trust” and “care”; Amazon “cares about the customer,” and “everything is driven” for him or her.