This business coach continues with content about Zappo’s organization change.
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Alfred and I would like to say thanks to the small group of folks on our finance and legal teams and from our advisors at Morgan Stanley, Fenwick & West, and PricewaterhouseCoopers who have been working really hard, around the clock, and behind the scenes over the last several months to help make all this possible.
Before getting to the Q&A section, I’d also like to thank everyone for taking the time to read this long email and for helping us get to where we are today.
It’s definitely an emotional day for me. The feelings I’m experiencing are similar to what I felt in college on graduation day: excitement about the future mixed with fond memories of the past. The last 10 years were an incredible ride, and I’m excited about what we will accomplish together over the next 10 years as we continue to grow Zappos!
CEO – zappos.com
Business Coach Provides Q&A:
Q: Will we still continue to grow our headquarters out of Vegas?
Yes! Just like before, we plan to continue to grow our Las Vegas operations as long as we can continue to attract the right talent for each of our departments. We do not have any plans to move any departments, nor does Amazon want us to because they recognize that our culture is what makes the Zappos brand special.
Q: What will happen to our warehouse in Kentucky?
As many of you know, we were strategic in choosing our warehouse location due to its proximity to the UPS Worldport hub in Louisville. Amazon does not have any warehouse locations that are closer to the Worldport hub. There is the possibility that they may want to store some of their inventory in our warehouse or vice-versa. Right now, both Zappos and Amazon believe that the best customer experience is to continue running our warehouse in Kentucky at its current location.
Q: Will we be reducing staff in order to gain operational efficiency?
There are no plans to do so at this time. Both Zappos and Amazon are focused on growth, which means we will need to hire more people to help us grow.
Q: Will we get a discount at Amazon?
No, because we are planning on continuing to run Zappos as a separate company with our own culture and core values. And we’re not going to be giving the Zappos discount to Amazon employees either, unless they bake us cookies and deliver them in person.
Q: Will our benefits change?
No, we are not planning on making any changes (outside of the normal course of business) to our benefit packages.
Q: Do we keep our core values?
Yes, we will keep our core values, and Amazon will keep their core values.
Q: Will our training/pipeline programs or progression plans change? Will there still be more growth opportunities?
We will continue building out our pipeline and progression as planned. The whole point of this combination is to accelerate our growth, so if anything, we are actually anticipating more growth opportunities for everyone.
Q: Will we continue to do the special things we do for our customers? Are our customer service policies going to change?
Just like before, that’s completely up to us to decide.
Q: Can you tell me a bit more about Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO)? What is he like?
We’d like to show an 8-minute video of Jeff Bezos that will give you some insight into his personality and way of thinking. He shares some of what he’s learned as an entrepreneur, as well as some of the mistakes he’s made.
Q: I’m a business/financial reporter. Can you talk like a banker and use fancy-sounding language that we can print in a business publication?
Zappos is an online footwear category leader and Amazon believes Zappos is the right team with a unique culture, proven track record, and the experience to become a leading soft goods company; Zappos’ customer service obsession reinforces Amazon’s mission to be the earth’s most customer-centric company; Great brand, strong vendor relationships, broad selection, large active and repeat customer base; Amazon believes Zappos is a great business — growing, profitable and positive cash flow; Accelerate combined companies’ scale and growth trajectory in the shoe, apparel and accessories space; Significant synergy opportunities, including technology, marketing, and possible international expansion.
Q: What is the purchase price?
This is not a cash transaction. This is a stock exchange. Our shareholders and option holders will be issued approximately 10 million Amazon shares on a fully converted basis. The details of the deal terms and how the shares will be distributed will be filed with the SEC on Form S-4 and will be publicly available when it is filed.
Q: Can you talk like a lawyer now?
This email was sent on July 22, 2009. In connection with the proposed merger, Amazon.com will file a registration statement on Form S-4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission that will contain a consent solicitation/prospectus. Zappos’ shareholders and investors are urged to carefully read the consent solicitation/prospectus when it becomes available and other relevant documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the proposed merger because they contain important information about Amazon.com, Zappos and the proposed merger. Shareholders and investors will be able to obtain the consent solicitation/prospectus when it becomes available at www.sec.gov or www.amazon.com/ir.
Certain statements contained in this email are not statements of historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect current expectations, are inherently uncertain and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Factors that could cause future results to differ materially from expected results include those set forth in Amazon.com’s Current Report on Form 8-K, dated July 22, 2009.
Q: Can you please stop?
True leaders are catalysts who drive brand perception, through which all investors, team members and stakeholders of the company view the relationship between customers and the brand. As your business grows, it becomes increasingly important for you to embrace your role as a brand ambassador who is unapologetically in love with the business, your brand, your people, and the customers you serve.
As your business gains massive traction, your number one priority must be to create a company culture and environment in which super-skilled people will want to work and contribute their talents. When you have created a culture that is so strong that people who are in high demand choose to come and work with you, then you’ll be aware that you have nailed it.
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