18 November 2013: Brad Stone today won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2013 (www.ft.com/bookaward) for The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, published by Transworld/Bantam Press and Little, Brown. The book is the definitive story of Amazon.com, one of the most successful companies in the world, and of its driven, brilliant founder, Jeff Bezos.

The award, which recognises the book that provides ‘the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues’, was presented this evening to Brad Stone in London by Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, and Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Brad Stone saw off strong competition to win the £30,000 prize. Each of the five runners-up received a cheque for £10,000.

Lionel Barber said, “This is an inspirational business book which captures the culture of Amazon and the character of its founder Jeff Bezos. A must-read for disrupters around the world.”

Lloyd C. Blankfein commented, “Amazon is a remarkable force that has revolutionized the retail world since Jeff Bezos founded the company almost two decades ago. Brad Stone offers a provocative take on how Jeff Bezos and Amazon have transformed industries as varied as publishing, consumer electronics, and cloud computing.”

The distinguished judging panel for the 2013 award included:

  • Vindi Banga, Partner, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
  • Steve Coll, Dean, School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York and Staff Writer, The New Yorker magazine
  • Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School
  • Arthur Levitt, former Chairman, United States Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Jorma Ollila, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell
  • Shriti Vadera, Director of Shriti Vadera Ltd, Non-Executive Director, BHP Billiton and AstraZeneca

Photographs are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/financialtimes/.

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Kristina Eriksson, Financial Times
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E: Kristina.Eriksson@FT.com

US: Mark Fortier, Fortier Public Relations
T: +1 212-675-6460, +1 646-246-3036
E: mark@fortierpr.com

Ryann Gastwirth, Financial Times
T: +1 917 551 5094
E: ryann.gastwirth@ft.com

Follow the awards on Twitter #BBYA13

 

The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2013:

WINNER 2013

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
Brad Stone, Transworld/Bantam Press; Little, Brown

This is the definitive story of Amazon.com, one of the most successful companies in the world, and of its driven, brilliant founder, Jeff Bezos.

Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail. But its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn’t content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that’s never been cracked. Until now.

Brad Stone enjoyed unprecedented access to current and former Amazon employees and Bezos family members, giving readers the first in-depth, fly-on-the-wall account of life at Amazon. Compared to tech’s other elite innovators – Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg – Bezos is a private man. But he stands out for his restless pursuit of new markets, leading Amazon into risky new ventures like the Kindle and cloud computing, and transforming retail in the same way Henry Ford revolutionised manufacturing.

The Everything Store is the revealing, definitive biography of the company that placed one of the first and largest bets on the Internet and forever changed the way we shop and read.

SHORTLISTED 2013

The Alchemists: Inside the Secret World of Central Bankers
Neil Irwin, Headline Business Plus; The Penguin Press

When the first fissures became visible to the naked eye in August 2007, suddenly the most powerful people in the world were three men who were never elected to public office. They were the leaders of the world’s three most important central banks: Ben Bernanke of the US Federal Reserve, Mervyn King of the Bank of England, and Jean-Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank. Over the next five years, they and their fellow central bankers deployed trillions of dollars, pounds and euros to contain the waves of panic that threatened to bring down the global financial system, moving on a scale and with a speed that had no precedent.

Neil Irwin’s The Alchemists is a gripping account of the most intense exercise in economic crisis management we’ve ever seen, a poker game in which the stakes have run into the trillions of dollars. The book begins in Stockholm, Sweden, in the seventeenth century, where central banking had its rocky birth, and then progresses through a tutorial on how the central banker came to exert such vast influence over our world, from its troubled beginnings to the age of Greenspan.

Irwin covered the Fed and other central banks from the earliest days of the crisis for the Washington Post, enjoying privileged access to leading central bankers and people close to them. The Alchemists, based on reporting that took place in 27 cities in 11 countries, shows us where money comes from – and where it may well be going.

 

Making it Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the Men Who Blew Up the British Economy
Iain Martin, Simon and Schuster

When RBS collapsed and had to be bailed out by the taxpayer in the financial crisis of October 2008, it played a leading role in tipping Britain into its deepest economic downturn in seven decades. The economy shrank, bank lending froze, hundreds of thousands lost their jobs, living standards are still falling and Britons will be paying higher taxes for decades to pay the clean-up bill. How on earth had a small Scottish bank grown so quickly to become a global financial giant that could do such immense damage when it collapsed?

At the centre of the story was Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive known as ‘Fred the Shred’, who terrorised some of his staff and beguiled others. Not a banker by training, he nonetheless was given control of RBS and set about trying to make it one of the biggest brands in the world. It was said confidently that computerisation and new banking products had made the world safer. Only they hadn’t …

Senior executives, board members, Treasury insiders and regulators reveal how the bank’s mania for expansion led it to take enormous risks its leaders didn’t understand. Based on more than 80 interviews and with access to diaries and papers kept by those at the heart of the meltdown, Making It Happen is the definitive account of the RBS disaster, from the birth of the Royal Bank in 18th century Scotland, to the manic expansion under Fred Goodwin in the middle of a mad boom and culminating in the epoch-defining collapse.

 

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier, John Murray; Eamon Dolan Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Two leading experts present a revelatory exploration of the hottest trend in technology and the dramatic impact it will have on the economy, science, and society at large. They explain what ‘big data’ is, how it will change our lives, and what we can do to protect ourselves from its hazards.

Which paint colour is most likely to tell you that a used car is in good shape? How can officials identify the most dangerous New York City manholes before they explode? And how did Google searches predict the spread of the H1N1 flu outbreak?

The key to answering these questions, and many more, is big data. ‘Big data’ refers to our burgeoning ability to crunch vast collections of information, analyse it instantly, and draw sometimes profoundly surprising conclusions from it. This emerging science can translate myriad phenomena – from the price of airline tickets to the text of millions of books – into searchable form, and uses our increasing computing power to unearth epiphanies that we never could have seen before. A revolution on par with the Internet or perhaps even the printing press, big data will change the way we think about business, health, politics, education, and innovation in the years to come. It also poses fresh threats, from the inevitable end of privacy as we know it to the prospect of being penalised for things we haven’t even done yet, based on big data’s ability to predict our future behaviour.

Big Data is the first big book about the next big thing.

 

The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of The Indian-American Elite and The Fall of The Galleon Hedge Fund
Anita Raghavan, Hachette Book Group/Business Plus

Just as WASPs, Irish-Catholics and Our Crowd Jews once made the ascent from immigrants to powerbrokers, it is now the Indian-American’s turn. Citigroup, PepsiCo and Mastercard are just a handful of the Fortune 500 companies led by a group known as the ‘Twice Blessed’. Yet little is known about how these Indian émigrés (and children of émigrés) rose through the ranks. Until now …

The Galleon Group was a hedge fund that managed more than $7 billion in assets. Its collapse following criminal charges of insider trading was a sensational case that pitted prosecutor Preet Bharara, himself the son of Indian immigrants, against the best and brightest of the South Asian business community. At the centre of the case was self-described King of Kings, Galleon’s founder Raj Rajaratnam, a Sri-Lankan-born, Wharton-educated billionaire. But the most shocking allegation was that the éminence grise of Indian business, Rajat Gupta, was Rajaratnam’s accomplice and mole. If not for Gupta’s nose-to-the-grindstone rise to head up McKinsey & Co and a position on the Goldman Sachs board, men like Rajaratnam would have never made it to the top of America’s moneyed elite.

Author Anita Raghavan criss-crosses the globe from Wall Street boardrooms to Delhi’s Indian Institute of Technology as she uncovers the secrets of this subculture – an incredible tale of triumph, temptation and tragedy.

 

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Sheryl Sandberg, WH Allen/Random House Group; Knopf

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry, meaning that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010 she gave an electrifying TED Talk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to ‘sit at the table’, seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfilment, providing practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of ‘having it all’.

 

Notes to editors:

Entry forms and details of the terms and conditions are available from www.ft.com/bookaward. The annual award aims to identify the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, including management, finance and economics. The shortlist of six titles was chosen from a longlist of fourteen. The winner was announced at a gala event in London on 18th November 2013. Submissions were invited from publishers or bona fide imprints based in any country.

 

Eligibility:

Books must be published for the first time in the English language, or in English translation, between 16th November 2012 and 15th November 2013. There is no limit to the number of submissions from each publisher/imprint, provided they fit the criteria, and books from all genres except anthologies are eligible. There are no restrictions of gender, age or nationality of authors. Authors who are current employees of the Financial Times or Goldman Sachs, or the close relatives of such employees, are not eligible.

 

About the Financial Times:

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of almost 629,000 (Deloitte assured, Q3 2013). Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving more than a third of FT.com traffic and a quarter of digital subscriptions. FT education products now serve 32 of the world’s top 50 business schools.

 

About Goldman Sachs:

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.