Jeff Bezos would run up 14 flights of stairs instead of using elevator at Amazon HQ

Amazon founder is known to take health and fitness seriously, choosing to climb 14 flights of stair instead

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 06 July 2021 17:45 BST
Related video: Jeff Bezos reveals how he first became interested in space

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos would refuse to use the elevators at the company’s previous headquarters, choosing instead to run up 14 flights of stairs in the company’s old office building, according to his former assistant.

Speaking to CNBC, Ann Hiatt, who was Mr Bezos’ executive assistant from 2002 to 2005, also said that he never even broke a sweat when he opted to take the longer route up to his office.

“He’s like a puppy. He would do laps and he was never tired,” said Ms Hiatt. “That’s Jeff. He couldn’t be held back.”

Mr Bezos has a reputation for being very conscious about health, fitness, and diet, and a 2017 appearance at a conference in Sun Valley in which he appeared particularly muscular even generated a meme. It is believed that part of his interest in fitness stems from his plans to go to space.

When Ms Hiatt worked for Mr Bezos, the company had offices in the 16-floor Pacific Medical Centre tower in Seattle.

Amazon occupied the 1930s-era former military hospital from 1999 to 2011 before relocating to its own campus in South Lake Union, another part of the city.

Mr Bezos, now 57, founded the company in 1994 and handed over the reins on Monday after 27 years in which it grew into a $1.8 trillion business employing more than 1.3 million people.

According to Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s Index, Mr Bezos is the richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $203bn.

Amazon is now led by Andy Jassy, former head of Amazon Web Services, a tool used by many companies to host their websites.

Ms Hiatt has previously described Mr Jassy as Mr Bezos’ “brain double” during her time at the company, saying that he would shadow the Amazon founder at meetings and help challenge his thinking.

Increased demand for online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic has seen the company’s stock price double since March 2020.

While Amazon is a constant in many people’s daily online and retail experiences, the company has been heavily criticised for its treatment of its warehouse and delivery employees.

In a 2020 letter to shareholders, Mr Bezos admitted that the company needed to “do a better job” for workers.

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