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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

December 31, 2012 at 10:17 AM

HBR names Bezos world’s top living chief exec

Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com is No. 2 among the Harvard Business Review’s 100 best CEOs in the world (behind the late Steve Jobs). “If you’re long-term oriented, customer interests and shareholder interests are aligned,” he told the magazine. “In the short term, that’s not always the case. We have other stakeholders, too — our employees, our vendors. We take it as an article of faith that if we put customers first, other stakeholders will also benefit, as long as they’re willing to take the long-term view.”

Other quotes: “If you’re investing and pioneering, you have to be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time…”; “Percentage margins are not something we seek to optimize. We want to maximize the absolute dollar free-cash flow per share…”; “We like to build innovative things, but only of we can put our own unique twist on them…”

Other Cascadia executives on the list: Mark Donegan of Precision Castparts, Portland, No. 30; Mark Pigott of Paccar, Bellevue, No. 53; Philip Pascall of First Quantum Minerals, Vancouver, B.C., and Blake Nordstrom of Nordstrom, Seattle, No. 80.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Fiscal cliff drama

Set off austerity bomb

Ring in the new year

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