SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to .
Commission File No. 000-22513
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
410 Terry Avenue North
Seattle, Washington 98109-5210
(Address and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, par value $.01 per share
Nasdaq Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes ¨ No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ¨ No x
Aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2018
Number of shares of common stock outstanding as of January 23, 2019
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
The information required by Part III of this Report, to the extent not set forth herein, is incorporated herein by reference from the registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held in 2019, which definitive proxy statement shall be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year to which this Report relates.
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2018
This Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents incorporated herein by reference contain forward-looking statements based on expectations, estimates, and projections as of the date of this filing. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. See Item 1A of Part I — “Risk Factors.”
Amazon.com, Inc. was incorporated in 1994 in the state of Washington and reincorporated in 1996 in the state of Delaware. Our principal corporate offices are located in Seattle, Washington. We completed our initial public offering in May 1997 and our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “AMZN.”
As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our,” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc. and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. We are guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. In each of our segments, we serve our primary customer sets, consisting of consumers, sellers, developers, enterprises, and content creators. In addition, we provide services, such as advertising.
We have organized our operations into three segments: North America, International, and Amazon Web Services (“AWS”). These segments reflect the way the Company evaluates its business performance and manages its operations. Information on our net sales is contained in Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 10 — Segment Information.” The financial results of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (“Whole Foods Market”) have been included in our consolidated financial statements from the date of acquisition on August 28, 2017.
We serve consumers through our online and physical stores and focus on selection, price, and convenience. We design our stores to enable hundreds of millions of unique products to be sold by us and by third parties across dozens of product categories. Customers access our offerings through our websites, mobile apps, Alexa, and physically visiting our stores. We also manufacture and sell electronic devices, including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TVs, and Echo devices, and we develop and produce media content. We strive to offer our customers the lowest prices possible through low everyday product pricing and shipping offers, and to improve our operating efficiencies so that we can continue to lower prices for our customers. We also provide easy-to-use functionality, fast and reliable fulfillment, and timely customer service. In addition, we offer Amazon Prime, a membership program that includes unlimited free shipping on over 100 million items, access to unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV episodes, and other benefits.
We fulfill customer orders in a number of ways, including through: North America and International fulfillment and delivery networks that we operate; co-sourced and outsourced arrangements in certain countries; digital delivery; and through our physical stores. We operate customer service centers globally, which are supplemented by co-sourced arrangements. See Item 2 of Part I, “Properties.”
We offer programs that enable sellers to grow their businesses, sell their products in our stores, and fulfill orders through us. We are not the seller of record in these transactions. We earn fixed fees, a percentage of sales, per-unit activity fees, interest, or some combination thereof, for our seller programs.
Developers and Enterprises
We serve developers and enterprises of all sizes, including start-ups, government agencies, and academic institutions, through our AWS segment, which offers a broad set of global compute, storage, database, and other service offerings.
We serve authors and independent publishers with Kindle Direct Publishing, an online service that lets independent authors and publishers choose a royalty option and make their books available in the Kindle Store, along with Amazon’s own publishing arm, Amazon Publishing. We also offer programs that allow authors, musicians, filmmakers, skill and app developers, and others to publish and sell content.
Our businesses encompass a large variety of product types, service offerings, and delivery channels. The worldwide marketplace in which we compete is evolving rapidly and intensely competitive, and we face a broad array of competitors from many different industry sectors around the world. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our retail businesses include selection, price, and convenience, including fast and reliable fulfillment. Additional competitive factors for our seller and enterprise services include the quality, speed, and reliability of our services and tools, as well as customers’ ability and willingness to change business practices. Some of our current and potential competitors have greater resources, longer histories, more customers, greater brand recognition, and greater control over inputs critical to our various businesses. They may secure better terms from suppliers, adopt more aggressive pricing, pursue restrictive distribution agreements that restrict our access to supply, direct consumers to their own offerings instead of ours, lock-in potential customers with restrictive terms, and devote more resources to technology, infrastructure, fulfillment, and marketing. Each of our businesses is also subject to rapid change and the development of new business models and the entry of new and well-funded competitors. Other companies also may enter into business combinations or alliances that strengthen their competitive positions.
We regard our trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents, domain names, trade dress, trade secrets, proprietary technologies, and similar intellectual property as critical to our success, and we rely on trademark, copyright, and patent law, trade-secret protection, and confidentiality and/or license agreements with our employees, customers, partners, and others to protect our proprietary rights. We have registered, or applied for the registration of, a number of U.S. and international domain names, trademarks, service marks, and copyrights. Additionally, we have filed U.S. and international patent applications covering certain of our proprietary technology. We have licensed in the past, and expect that we may license in the future, certain of our proprietary rights to third parties.
Our business is affected by seasonality, which historically has resulted in higher sales volume during our fourth quarter, which ends December 31. We recognized 32%, 34%, and 31% of our annual revenue during the fourth quarter of 2016, 2017, and 2018. Fourth quarter 2017 results include revenue attributable to Whole Foods Market, which we acquired on August 28, 2017.
We employed approximately 647,500 full-time and part-time employees as of December 31, 2018. However, employment levels fluctuate due to seasonal factors affecting our business. Additionally, we utilize independent contractors and temporary personnel to supplement our workforce. We have works councils, statutory employee representation obligations, and union agreements in certain countries outside the United States and at certain of our studio operations within the United States. We consider our employee relations to be good. Competition for qualified personnel in our industry has historically been intense, particularly for software engineers, computer scientists, and other technical staff.
Our investor relations website is amazon.com/ir and we encourage investors to use it as a way of easily finding information about us. We promptly make available on this website, free of charge, the reports that we file or furnish with the
Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), corporate governance information (including our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics), and select press releases.
Executive Officers and Directors
The following tables set forth certain information regarding our Executive Officers and Directors as of January 23, 2019:
Executive Officers of the Registrant
Jeffrey P. Bezos
President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board
Jeffrey M. Blackburn
Senior Vice President, Business Development
Andrew R. Jassy
CEO Amazon Web Services
Brian T. Olsavsky
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Shelley L. Reynolds
Vice President, Worldwide Controller, and Principal Accounting Officer
Jeffrey A. Wilke
CEO Worldwide Consumer
David A. Zapolsky
Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary
Jeffrey P. Bezos. Mr. Bezos has been Chairman of the Board of Amazon.com since founding it in 1994 and Chief Executive Officer since May 1996. Mr. Bezos served as President of the Company from founding until June 1999 and again from October 2000 to the present.
Jeffrey M. Blackburn. Mr. Blackburn has served as Senior Vice President, Business Development, since April 2006.
Andrew R. Jassy. Mr. Jassy has served as CEO Amazon Web Services since April 2016, and Senior Vice President, Amazon Web Services, from April 2006 until April 2016.
Brian T. Olsavsky. Mr. Olsavsky has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since June 2015, Vice President, Finance for the Global Consumer Business from December 2011 to June 2015, and numerous financial leadership roles across Amazon with global responsibility since April 2002.
Shelley L. Reynolds. Ms. Reynolds has served as Vice President, Worldwide Controller, and Principal Accounting Officer since April 2007.
Jeffrey A. Wilke. Mr. Wilke has served as CEO Worldwide Consumer since April 2016, Senior Vice President, Consumer Business, from February 2012 until April 2016, and as Senior Vice President, North America Retail, from January 2007 until February 2012.
David A. Zapolsky. Mr. Zapolsky has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary since May 2014, Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary from September 2012 to May 2014, and as Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Litigation and Regulatory matters from April 2002 until September 2012.
Board of Directors
Jeffrey P. Bezos
President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board
Tom A. Alberg
Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group
Jamie S. Gorelick
Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Daniel P. Huttenlocher
Dean and Vice Provost, Cornell Tech at Cornell University
Judith A. McGrath
Senior Advisor, Astronauts Wanted * No experience necessary
Jonathan J. Rubinstein
Former co-CEO, Bridgewater Associates, LP
Thomas O. Ryder
Retired, Former Chairman, Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.
Patricia Q. Stonesifer
President and Chief Executive Officer, Martha’s Table
Wendell P. Weeks
Chief Executive Officer, Corning Incorporated
Please carefully consider the following risk factors. If any of the following risks occur, our business, financial condition, operating results, and cash flows could be materially adversely affected. In addition, the current global economic climate amplifies many of these risks.
We Face Intense Competition
Our businesses are rapidly evolving and intensely competitive, and we have many competitors in different industries, including physical, e-commerce, and omnichannel retail, e-commerce services, digital content and electronic devices, web and infrastructure computing services, and transportation and logistics services, and across geographies, including cross-border competition. Some of our current and potential competitors have greater resources, longer histories, more customers, and/or greater brand recognition, particularly with our newly-launched products and services and in our newer geographic regions. They may secure better terms from vendors, adopt more aggressive pricing, and devote more resources to technology, infrastructure, fulfillment, and marketing.
Competition may intensify, including with the development of new business models and the entry of new and well-funded competitors, and as our competitors enter into business combinations or alliances and established companies in other market segments expand to become competitive with our business. In addition, new and enhanced technologies, including search, web and infrastructure computing services, digital content, and electronic devices, may increase our competition. The Internet facilitates competitive entry and comparison shopping, and increased competition may reduce our sales and profits.
Our Expansion Places a Significant Strain on our Management, Operational, Financial, and Other Resources
We are rapidly and significantly expanding our global operations, including increasing our product and service offerings and scaling our infrastructure to support our retail and services businesses. This expansion increases the complexity of our business and places significant strain on our management, personnel, operations, systems, technical performance, financial resources, and internal financial control and reporting functions. We may not be able to manage growth effectively, which could damage our reputation, limit our growth, and negatively affect our operating results.
Our Expansion into New Products, Services, Technologies, and Geographic Regions Subjects Us to Additional Business, Legal, Financial, and Competitive Risks
We may have limited or no experience in our newer market segments, and our customers may not adopt our offerings. These offerings may present new and difficult technology challenges, and we may be subject to claims if customers of these offerings experience service disruptions or failures or other quality issues. In addition, profitability, if any, in our newer activities may be lower than in our older activities, and we may not be successful enough in these newer activities to recoup our investments in them. If any of this were to occur, it could damage our reputation, limit our growth, and negatively affect our operating results.
We May Experience Significant Fluctuations in Our Operating Results and Growth Rate
We may not be able to accurately forecast our growth rate. We base our expense levels and investment plans on sales estimates. A significant portion of our expenses and investments is fixed, and we may not be able to adjust our spending quickly enough if our sales are less than expected.
Our revenue growth may not be sustainable, and our percentage growth rates may decrease. Our revenue and operating profit growth depends on the continued growth of demand for the products and services offered by us or our sellers, and our business is affected by general economic and business conditions worldwide. A softening of demand, whether caused by changes in customer preferences or a weakening of the U.S. or global economies, may result in decreased revenue or growth.
Our sales and operating results will also fluctuate for many other reasons, including due to risks described elsewhere in this section and the following:
our ability to retain and increase sales to existing customers, attract new customers, and satisfy our customers’ demands;