“But when the idea of a transaction with Jeff Bezos came up, it altered my feelings.” He added: “The Post could have survived under the company’s ownership and been profitable for the foreseeable future. I’m not saying this guarantees success, but it gives us a much greater chance of success.” Bezos, 49, will take the company private, meaning he will not have to report quarterly earnings to shareholders or be subjected to investors’ demands for ever-rising profits, as the publicly traded Washington Post Co. As such, he will be able to experiment with the paper without the pressure of showing an immediate return on any investment.
Indeed, Bezos’s history of patient investment and long-term strategic thinking made him an attractive buyer, Weymouth said.
For long periods, however, Bezos frustrated investors and analysts who wanted Amazon to turn profits more quickly or more regularly.
Because of heavy investments in warehouses and new businesses, Amazon did not deliver a profit until the company’s ninth year of operation, and seven years after it started selling shares to the public.
Throughout his storied business career, Bezos, who has a net worth of .2 billion, has been an empire builder, although he has never shown any evident interest in the newspaper business.He has, however, maintained a long friendship with Graham, and they have informally advised each other over the years.Graham, for example, advised Bezos about how to feature newspapers on the Kindle, Amazon’s popular e-reader.The rise of the Internet and the epochal change from print to digital technology have created a massive wave of competition for traditional news companies, scattering readers and advertisers across a radically altered news and information landscape and triggering mergers, bankruptcies and consolidation among the owners of print and broadcasting properties.
“Every member of my family started out with the same emotion — shock — in even thinking about” selling The Post, Graham said in an interview Monday.A computer-science and electrical-engineering student at Princeton University, Bezos used his tech savvy to rise rapidly at a New York hedge-fund company, becoming its youngest senior vice president.