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Amazon CEO Pumps Prime at Shareholder Meeting

Amazon chose once again not to webcast its annual shareholder meeting, which was held on Tuesday, but Seattle area publications had journalists on hand to cover the event. The Seattle Times newspaper said Amazon’s CEO told shareholders it was the fastest company to have reached $100 billion in annual revenue, a milestone it achieved in 2015. Its Amazon Web Services hosting service is helping with its fast growth rate.

Bezos also told shareholders, “Our goal with Amazon Prime, make no mistake, is to make sure that if you are not a Prime member, you are being irresponsible.”

Meanwhile GeekWire reported an interesting fact Bezos revealed about the scale of the FBA program, which we confirmed with Amazon spokesperson Tom Cook: Nearly 50 percent of total third-party units on Amazon are now fulfilled through Fulfillment by Amazon. That means nearly 1/4 of all Amazon unit sales are fulfilled through FBA.

Shareholders approved all of the company’s proposals and rejected the shareholder-initiated proposals – you can find them in the proxy materials on the Amazon investor relations website.

The Seattle Times explained the issues facing shareholders and wrote somewhat poetically, “Three shareholder-initiated proposals that would have pushed Amazon to disclose more about its corporate citizenship activities were rejected, though by slimmer margins than are typical in the sometimes rubber-stamp world of shareholder democracy.” It also noted that during the meeting (presumably when Amazon solicited shareholder questions), an employee of an area security firm criticized Amazon’s supervision of contractor firms like the one he worked for.

Critics were also outside of the meeting, trying to get their messages to the company’s management and shareholders. Geekwire reported that an advocacy group flew a plane over the event with a banner reading, “Shareholders to Amazon: #DumpTrump.”

The Seattle tech publication reported that the plane had been commissioned by a group called UltraViolet Action, which is calling on Amazon to stop selling Donald Trump products on its site. Interestingly Trump has criticized Bezos, blaming the CEO for the editorial coverage of the Washington Post, the newspaper company Bezos bought in 2013.

Geekwire also reported on past protests during Amazon annual meetings.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.