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Controversy aside, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos was actually a pretty popular CEO

February 3, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

Jeff Bezos is no stranger to bad press. Recent controversies span everything from Amazon’s treatment of warehouse workers, to leaked photos, to a high-profile extramarital relationship and divorce, to feuds with former President Donald Trump. But that doesn’t mean Americans dislike Amazon’s founder, who announced on Tuesday he’ll step down as CEO later this year and hand the reins to Andy Jassy.

In fact, he’s pretty popular: Bezos has a +29-point net favorability score, finds a Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll of 1,276 U.S. adults conducted in June 2020. By comparison, amid his honeymoon phase, President Joe Biden has a net favorability of +11 points, while Trump is at –20.

While Bezos’s net favorability score is below that of Apple CEO Tim Cook (+41 points) and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (+41 points), his rating is far above that of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (–14 points), our poll finds. Keep in mind that Cook and Nadella haven’t faced the same scrutiny as Bezos—the wealthiest man in the world—nor been in the spotlight as long. Heck, Bezos was named 1999 Person of the Year by Time magazine when Zuckerberg was just 15 years old.

The reason Bezos, who will transition into the role of Amazon executive chair, is beloved isn’t his money or business acumen. Instead, it’s because of the company he built: Americans love Amazon. Among the country’s five biggest tech firms, Amazon’s +70-point net favorability is hands down the highest. It beat out Google (+55), Microsoft (+53), Apple (+45), and Facebook (+0).

The book e-retailer that Bezos founded in his Bellevue, Wash., garage in 1994 would go on to revolutionize all of commerce and make free two-day shipping the norm. Bezos changed American life, and he’s got the favorability rating to prove it.

*Methodology: The Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll was conducted among a national sample of 1,276 adults in the U.S. between June 25 and June 26. This survey’s modeled error estimate is plus or minus four percentage points. The findings have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography.