History of Amazon in Detailed Timeline

15 Mar 2023

Here is a detailed timeline of the history of Amazon:

  • July 5th: Jeff Bezos, a former Wall Street hedge fund executive, founds Amazon in Bellevue, Washington.
  • Bezos initially intended to name the company "Cadabra," but changed it to Amazon after a lawyer misheard it as "cadaver."


  • Amazon.com officially launches on July 16th, initially as an online bookstore.
  • The company sells its first book, Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies, to a customer in California.


  • Amazon goes public, offering its stock at $18 per share.
  • The company expands its product offerings beyond books, selling music and DVDs.


  • Amazon launches Amazon Marketplace, allowing third-party sellers to offer their products on the site.
  • The company expands internationally, launching sites in the UK and Germany.


  • Amazon launches its music store, allowing customers to download MP3s.
  • The company introduces Amazon.com Auctions, an online auction site to compete with eBay.
  • Bezos is named Time magazine's "Person of the Year."


  • Amazon introduces the "One-Click" ordering feature, allowing customers to purchase products with just one click.
  • The company expands into the home improvement market, launching Amazon Home Services.


  • Amazon introduces Amazon Prime, a subscription service offering free two-day shipping and other perks.
  • The company expands into the video game market, launching Amazon Game Studios.


  • Amazon reports its first-ever profitable quarter.
  • The company launches Amazon Web Services, offering cloud computing services to businesses.


  • Amazon launches Amazon Prime Music, a streaming service for Prime members.
  • The company acquires online shoe retailer Zappos for $1.2 billion.


  • Amazon launches Amazon Prime Video, a streaming service for Prime members.
  • The company introduces Amazon Mechanical Turk, a platform for crowdsourcing tasks.


  • Amazon releases the first Kindle e-reader, revolutionizing the book industry.
  • The company launches AmazonFresh, a grocery delivery service.


  • Amazon acquires online shoe retailer ShoeBuy.com.
  • The company introduces AmazonBasics, a line of consumer electronics.


  • Amazon launches Amazon Cloud Drive, a cloud-based storage service.
  • The company acquires online retailer Quidsi, which owns Diapers.com and Soap.com.


  • Amazon introduces Amazon Art, an online marketplace for fine art.
  • The company launches Amazon Pantry, a grocery delivery service for Prime members.


  • Amazon acquires video game streaming site Twitch for $970 million.
  • The company introduces Amazon Dash, a device that allows customers to order products with the push of a button.


  • Amazon surpasses Walmart as the world's most valuable retailer.
  • The company introduces Amazon Echo, a voice-activated smart speaker.


  • Amazon opens its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle.
  • The company launches Amazon Go, a cashierless grocery store.


  • Amazon acquires Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion.
  • The company introduces Amazon Key, a service that allows delivery drivers to enter customers' homes to drop off packages.


  • Amazon becomes the second publicly traded company to reach a $1 trillion market cap.
  • The company introduces Amazon Business, a marketplace for business-to-business sales.


  • Amazon introduces Amazon Prime Day, a two-day shopping event for Prime members.
  • The company announces plans to launch a satellite network to provide high-speed internet around the world.


  • January 31: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces that he will step down as CEO later in the year and be replaced by Andy Jassy, the current head of Amazon Web Services.
  • March 11: Amazon announces that it will hire 100,000 additional workers to meet the surge in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • April 2: Amazon begins using thermal cameras to check the temperature of employees at its warehouses and other facilities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • May 15: Amazon announces that it will spend over $4 billion in the second quarter of 2020 to address COVID-19 related expenses, including purchasing personal protective equipment for employees and implementing safety measures in its facilities.
  • June 10: Amazon bans police from using its facial recognition technology, Rekognition, for a year to allow for further evaluation of its impact on civil liberties.
  • August 25: Amazon introduces Amazon One, a new biometric technology that allows customers to pay for goods and services using their palm print.


  • February 2: Amazon announces that Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO and transition to the role of Executive Chair of the Board in the third quarter of 2021. Andy Jassy will become the new CEO.
  • March 17: Amazon acquires Selz, an Australian e-commerce platform that helps small businesses create their own online stores.
  • May 20: Amazon announces that it will acquire MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, giving it access to a vast library of movies and TV shows to bolster its Amazon Prime Video streaming service.
  • July 29: Amazon reports its Q2 2021 earnings, posting $113.1 billion in revenue, up 27% from the same period in 2020.
  • August 2: Amazon announces that it will pay the college tuition and fees for over 750,000 hourly employees in the United States as part of a $1.2 billion investment in employee education and training.
  • September 1: Amazon launches Amazon Explore, a new virtual experience platform that allows customers to book interactive live video sessions with hosts around the world.


  • January 3: Amazon acquires CyberX, an Israeli cybersecurity startup, to enhance the security of its cloud computing services.
  • March 1: Amazon announces that it will open its first-ever department store in California, marking a new phase of its brick-and-mortar retail strategy.
  • April 28: Amazon reports its Q1 2022 earnings, posting $108.5 billion in revenue, up 44% from the same period in 2021.
  • June 20: Amazon announces that it will acquire Artfinder, a UK-based online art marketplace, to expand its presence in the art world.
  • August 4: Amazon launches Amazon Go Grocery, a new chain of grocery stores that uses advanced technology to enable customers to shop without checkout lines or cashiers.
  • October 26: Amazon reports its Q3 2022 earnings, posting $120.3 billion in revenue, up 30% from the same period in 2021.

Overall, Amazon continues to expand its presence in various industries, from e-commerce and cloud computing to brick-and-mortar retail and entertainment. With Andy Jassy at the helm as the new CEO, it will be interesting to see how the company continues to innovate and grow in the coming years.

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