What Would Bezos Do?

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"If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?"

With those words, written in a Medium blog post announcing that he would not give in to extortion by American Media LLC (AMI) and its publication the National Enquirer, Jeff Bezos set off a firestorm, and charted a course that few CEOs or boards have equaled.

What the founder of Amazon, and the richest man in the world, did was show us how the head of a public company could put it all on the line to stand up to bullies. "Courage comes first," he essentially told us, no matter what the personal or professional cost.

And apparently his prestigious board agreed.

Boards don't always give founders a pass on morals clauses when they misstep very publicly; missteps that can make executives and companies vulnerable. No matter how rich, how successful, or how innovative they are, corporate leaders are always vulnerable to...

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