By CultureBanx Team
- Amazon acquires Zoox, led by CEO Aicha Evans for $1.2B
- Zoox’s technology could save the company $20B a year
The great disruptor Amazon (AMZN +0.40%) has taken its talent to the autonomous vehicles space with the purchase of Zoox, led by CEO Aicha Evans for $1.2 billion. Amazon plans to work with Zoox to create a fleet of self-driving taxis, in competition with Alphabet’s (GOOG +1.85%) Waymo. With Evans at the helm, carving out her own lane in what’s shaping up to be a competitive self-driving car space, is the e-commerce giant in a position to dominate yet another industry?
Why This Matters: Evans has been at the company for almost two years and will stay on in her current position. Zoox marks Amazon’s biggest investment into the autonomous vehicle sector, and Dealogic found that its second largest acquisition after the 2009 purchase of Zappos for $1.2 billion, along with the 2017 purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. They got the company at a pretty decent haircut because six year old Zoox was valued at over $3.2 billion in 2018, but has struggled with management turnover in its efforts to develop a self-driving car, according to the FT. The self-driving car company has raised close to $1 billion since its founding.
CEO Evans sees how this deal will help the company reach its full potential. “This acquisition solidifies Zoox’s impact on the autonomous driving industry…We now have an even greater opportunity to realize a fully autonomous future,” Evans said in a Zoox statement.
Evans will need to tap into her wealth of skills to put Zoox into a cost-cutting huge money saver for Amazon in the future
Zoox, like so many others, had been struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and had been seeking a sale since May. Ahead of this deal the company had been planning to launch a pilot program for its self-driving taxis. Zoox has been developing purpose-built, zero-emissions vehicles designed for autonomous ride-hailing, along with an end-to-end autonomy software stack.
Situational Awareness: Before joining Zoox, Evans served as Intel’s chief strategy officer and spent 12 years at the tech company. She is no stranger to leading a company through major transitions and will need to tap into her wealth of skills to put Zoox into a cost-cutting huge money saver for Amazon in the future. Analysts at Morgan Stanley noted that Zoox’s technology could save the company $20 billion a year, and could potentially help Amazon to develop a “more efficient long-term delivery network.” For a company that ships more than 2.5 billion packages per year, this should be a significant cost-cutting venture on the road to taking over the self driving industry.
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