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Amazon’s annual meeting of shareholders saw investors representing a majority of the company’s shares voting against all 14 outside proposals that were submitted. The preliminary results were announced at the virtual meeting, following comments by proponents including Amazon employees, activists, and others on various issues such as climate, workers’ rights, and corporate governance. Amazon’s 12-member board, which was re-elected during the meeting, had recommended against all 14 proposals, which ranged from addressing human rights risks related to AI systems to reducing the company’s plastics footprint and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of the proposals were repeat proposals from previous years that had failed, with Amazon stating that some contained incorrect assertions or a lack of understanding of the company’s operations. The annual meeting, traditionally held in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, was carried out virtually due to the pandemic. During the Q&A portion of the meeting, CEO Andy Jassy addressed questions submitted by shareholders on topics such as warehouse injuries, the future of Alexa, generative AI, government regulation, the advertising business, and dividends. Jassy expressed optimism about the potential of Alexa as a personal assistant and highlighted the opportunities in the company’s advertising business, stating that they were still early in exploring new avenues for advertising, such as in video and grocery products.

In response to a question about issuing dividends, Jassy emphasized that the company is focused on leveraging and investing cash in ways that benefit customers, the business, and shareholders. He highlighted the significant growth opportunities in Amazon’s existing businesses, such as Stores and AWS, which require significant capital investments to pursue. Jassy pointed out that despite the success of AWS, there is still a vast market share of global IT spend that remains on premises, indicating room for growth in cloud services. Additionally, he discussed the company’s investments in new businesses such as Prime Video, healthcare, Kuiper, Zoox, grocery, and fulfillment, stating that Amazon is passionate about these areas and will continue to explore alternative ways to invest cash if better opportunities arise.

Overall, the annual meeting of shareholders at Amazon saw a rejection of all outside proposals submitted, with the majority of investors voting against them. The meeting, held virtually due to the pandemic, featured comments from proponents on various issues including climate, workers’ rights, and AI systems. Amazon’s board had recommended against all 14 proposals, with some being repeat proposals from previous years that had failed. During the Q&A portion of the meeting, CEO Andy Jassy addressed questions on warehouse injuries, the future of Alexa, generative AI, government regulation, the advertising business, and dividends. Jassy expressed optimism about the potential of Alexa and the opportunities in the advertising business, highlighting the company’s focus on investing in existing and new businesses for growth and innovation.

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