Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a demanding boss, according to a lengthy book excerpt on his life, as published in BusinessWeek.
When he hears something he doesn’t like — usually because it’s not backed by data — his demeanor can become explosive or sarcastic.
His lieutenants have collect examples of his hyperbolic quotes over the years, according to author Brad Stone in The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon:
A colleague failing to meet Bezos’s exacting standards will set off a nutter. If an employee does not have the right answers or tries to bluff, or takes credit for someone else’s work, or exhibits a whiff of internal politics, uncertainty, or frailty in the heat of battle — a blood vessel in Bezos’s forehead bulges and his filter falls away.
He’s capable of hyperbole and harshness in these moments and over the years has delivered some devastating rebukes. Among his greatest hits, collected and relayed by Amazon veterans:
“Are you lazy or just incompetent?”
“I’m sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?”
“Do I need to go down and get the certificate that says I’m CEO of the company to get you to stop challenging me on this?”
[After reviewing the annual plan from the supply chain team] “I guess supply chain isn’t doing anything interesting next year.”
[After reading a start-of-meeting memo] “This document was clearly written by the B team. Can someone get me the A team document? I don’t want to waste my time with the B team document.”
[After an engineer’s presentation] “Why are you wasting my life?”
Read the full excerpt here. It’s well worth it.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.