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Jeff Bezos Is Heading to Space and Partying on Earth While Amazon Faces a Host of Challenges

New CEO Andy Jassy has to navigate dealing with a restless workforce and a changing e-commerce landscape as his former boss is building a megayacht.

Bezos after returning from space on July 20, 2021, in Van Horn, Texas.

Bezos after returning from space on July 20, 2021, in Van Horn, Texas.

Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

It’s a tradition that goes back to the early days of the U.S. space program: Astronauts write personal letters to their loved ones, to be delivered only if they don’t return from their perilous journey. So last summer, Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, who reveres such rituals, wrote his own heartfelt goodbye to his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez on the eve of his historic ride on a Blue Origin rocket. But then, on the morning of the launch, Bezos couldn’t resist. With colleagues and crewmates milling awkwardly around them, according to a person who heard about the exchange, he handed Sanchez her letter in a grand romantic gesture.

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