Vid Ex-Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has attacked retail giant Amazon for failing to make a profit after more than two decades of trading its wares online.
"They make no money, Charlie. In my world, you're not a real business until you make some money. I have a hard time with businesses that don't make money at some point," Big Steve said in a TV interview with Charlie Rose.
"I get it if you don't make money for two or three years, but Amazon's what – 21 years old – and not making money."
If I was a share owner, it's an expensive company – market cap of $150bn almost – eventually, if you're worth $150bn, eventually somebody thinks you're gonna make $15bn pre-tax and they make about zero, and there's a big gap between zero and 15.
Amazon's latest financial report saw the online retail giant's net sales rise 20 per cent for the third quarter, year-over-year, bringing in a whopping $20.58bn.
However, the Seattle-based company posted a net loss of $437m for the three months ended 30 September. Business as usual, then, as noted by a perplexed but typically animated Ballmer.
"I think one capability a business is expected to have is the capability to make money. It requires a certain kind of discipline a certain mindset," he said. "They're our neighbours, I like the people, they're fine, but as a businessman if you ask me what I'm proud of, I'm proud of the fact that I made $250bn under my watch as CEO."
Ballmer quit Microsoft earlier this year. He now owns the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. He signed off by saying:
And, I know that in our industry only product matters to people and product is everything in the long run. But product that makes money is important.