Executive Protection Fail - Jeff Bezos
The National Enquirer said it had been investigating Bezos for four months, tracking the Amazon CEO "across five states and 40,000 miles." The tabloid said it had evidence that Bezos has been "whisking his mistress off to exotic destinations on his $65 million private jet."
Jeff Bezos is the founder of the online retailer Amazon and one of the richest people in the world. He has just made public that he will be getting divorced from his wife of 25 years after an extra marital affair was made public, that’s his personal business… The divorce could cost him 50% of his wealth including his stocks in Amazon, which could lead to control issues for the company and shareholders, this is company business… Again, someone’s personal life has gotten them and their company into big trouble!
The National Enquirer had reportedly been following Jeff Bezos for at least four months across the U.S. and have pages of photos, travel records and even indecent texts that Bezos sent to his mistress… So, where was Bezos security team? I take it he must have at least one Executive Protection Specialist assigned to him somewhere, for something…
I understand that Jeff Bezos’s marriage and affair were a personal issue, but it’s also a company security issue as the fallout could affect a lot of people. The fact The National Enquirer could track and follow him for over four months is a major lapse in corporate and personal security… To start with no one realized he was being photographed? Which means no physical counter surveillance? So, what was his staff doing, looking pretty, posting selfies and running up expenses?
I don’t know the details of Jeff Bezos’s personal security but will say if he had any, it was a waste of time and money. Most corporate security managers and human resource people don’t understand that providing effective close protection means there needs to be good personal repour between the manager, guards and the client, there needs to be professional trust and loyally. Sadly, trust and loyally are dirty words in today’s corporate world.
For those providing close protection services or management confidentiality and professional loyalty are the essence of keeping you employed. The client’s personal life and the threats from embarrassment and blackmail all must be taken into consideration, if you don’t like their lifestyle, then find a new job.
One of the major issues with those providing close protection services and management is that most tend to focus only on the threats from physical assault, which really are not high-priority in places like the U.S. as it is very safe country unless you’re involved in the illegal drugs business or the like. Bezos case is a classic example of how the pen (and camera) are mightier than the sword these days.
You cannot put providing close protection services in the same box as providing security guard and driver services, which many human resources professional do. Just because someone had a security license, executive protection certificate, a suit and a gun it does not mean they know a fraction of what they should, or they are suitable to work in close proximity with a client 24/7.
I would say the security failures with Jeff Bezos are on all levels from no trust or communication between client and his security manager, if he had one, to possible leaks from his personal staff on schedules, locations to be visited, online activity and communications… A complete security failure for Jeff Bezos and Amazon but very good work by The National Enquirer and whoever undertook and backed their investigation.
When dealing in Eastern Europe in the 90’s it was explained to me by very wise men that when providing close protection to a serious client you should provide a “Roof”, to keep the rain off the client. The rain is anything that can cause the client any problems in all aspects of their lives, the client needs a problem free life to make money, from which you get paid. And a wise client will know to always pay his people well and on time unless they want to get wet…
Things are different these days in the world of Executive Protection to the rich and famous where most human resources professionals just want to “tick a box” for as little expense as possible and the guards just want a cool back drop for their selfies and day dream of staring in reality TV series…