Jet.com CEO Marc Lore Might've Thrown in the Towel Too Soon
In the fight against Amazon
ANDREW NUSCA: Walmart is buying Amazon rival Jet for $3 billion. Robert, is this deal a success or a failure? ROBERT HACKETT: Andrew, if I am Marc Lore, CEO of Jet, I am stoked. This is a great deal. It's a fantastic success and win. Look, he founded Jet two years ago, and he built it up to a $3 billion valuation. ANDREW NUSCA: Not too shabby. ROBERT HACKETT: Getting bought by Walmart, the number one, top Fortune 500 company in the entire world. This is a great success for him. Good job, Marc. ANDREW NUSCA: Yeah, well if I'm Mark Lore's ambitions, I am deeply disappointed in this deal. ROBERT HACKETT: Disappointed? ANDREW NUSCA: Yes! Yes! Don't you forget-- Marc was the guy who was crazy enough to start and build a company to take on Amazon! To take on Amazon, the 21st century-- this is a company that is not worth $3 billion, it's $300 billion, far and away the leader in e-commerce. And Marc was the guy crazy enough to do it. And you know what? It seems like he's just throwing in the towel a little bit, isn't it? ROBERT HACKETT: Throwing in the towel? No way! ANDREW NUSCA: He's selling out to Walmart. I don't want to do this independently. ROBERT HACKETT: Absolutely not. Look, Marc Lore, yeah, he found a Jet. He said, look, I'm going to take on Amazon, this e-commerce behemoth. Look, the reason he was making all those statements was to get press attention, to get the media to pay attention to him. ANDREW NUSCA: Well, he succeeded. ROBERT HACKETT: And you know who else got he got to pay attention to him? Walmart. ANDREW NUSCA: [LAUGHS] ROBERT HACKETT: A lot of people do this to great effect. Donald Trump makes ridiculous statements to get attention like this. ANDREW NUSCA: Really? ROBERT HACKETT: But it worked. It worked in the case of Marc Lore. Look what he's done. He's sold out to Walmart, which is fantastic for them. ANDREW NUSCA: Well, to your point, one guy who's really, really happy with this deal is Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. Look, Walmart, it's even though it's far and away the leader in brick and mortar retail, and to your point, it's the number one Fortune 500 company-- hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenues-- it lags in e-commerce. Amazon's the leader there. And no matter how much money it's plowed into trying to compete there, it hasn't really moved the needle. So Jet $3 billion dollars, small amount of money. And to boot, it gets a passionate customer base, early adopters, and a bunch of talent that used to work at Amazon like Marc. ROBERT HACKETT: Absolutely. ANDREW NUSCA: Not bad. ROBERT HACKETT: Absolutely. Walmart, they've got a long way to go. They've got a lot of ground to cover to actually catch up to Amazon. It's true. But Marc Lore, he worked at Amazon. He built up diapers.com and soap.com. He sold them off, worked at Amazon for a bit. So if anybody can do this, he is the man for the job. ANDREW NUSCA: [LAUGHS] Fair point. For one show that's always a success, come to fortune.com for more Tech Debate.