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Amazon Shareholder Meeting Takes a Political Turn

May 24, 2017

Could Amazon's incredibly successful e-commerce, book selling, and cloud computing businesses be hurt by modern American politics? Jeff Bezos doesn't think so, based on his responses to questions during the company's annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday.

For example, one question was whether Bezos—the founder, CEO, and chairman of Amazon (amzn) who has expressed strong opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban—worried that such talk would alienate Trump voters, according to The Seattle Times.

Related: Jeff Bezos Just Became the World's Second Richest Person

The fact that Bezos personally owns The Washington Post, which publishes many stories critical of the president, was also brought up by an attendee, identified by tech news site Geekwire as Justin Danhof, general counsel for conservative think tank National Center for Public Policy Research.

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In late January, Bezos wrote employees about his opposition to the ban. He was one of several tech execs—including Microsoft (msft) CEO Satya Nadella and Google (goog) CEO Sundar Pichai—to push back on the policy.

Related: These Two Amazon Execs Earned More Than Jeff Bezos

At the meeting, Bezos said Amazon (amzn), as a company, does not oppose or support any candidate or elected official, but will take "a measured approach" on issues that affect the company as a whole.

Related: Amazon's Jeff Bezos Weighs In On Trump Travel Ban

“That’s what led us to take a position on the immigration issue," Bezos explained. "We have a large number of employees affected by that issue. It really is that simple.”

Outside the Seattle event, CNBC reported that a few groups gathered to protest Amazon on several fronts. Among them, one group said the company should stop advertising on the right-wing website Breitbart, while a cohort of airline pilots flying for Prime Air want better pay.

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