Report: Amazon Changed Algorithm to Favor Profitable Products

Despite internal opposition, Amazon has changed its search algorithms to prioritize listings that translate into bigger profits for the company—including its own private label goods, according to a Wall Street Journal exclusive. Citing sources from Amazon’s A9 search team and the company’s lawyers, the WSJ report claims Amazon tweaked the search algorithm from showing the most relevant products to “featured” ones. The change was not publicized and was initially contested by Amazon’s internal lawyers, who said it could potentially cause trouble with antitrust regulators. It was also unpopular with the A9 team, as it was thought to put profitability over what’s best for customers. While the tweak wouldn’t necessarily boost only Amazon products, it would likely give a bump to the tech giant’s private-label brands as they are designed to be more profitable for Amazon. According to the report, Amazon’s retail team pressured A9 engineers to favor Amazon’s private-label products for years, arguing that they should receive preferential treatment in search results. Their logic was that grocery store chains and drugstores put their own products right next to national brands in-store. When...

This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Forbes Finds covers products and experiences we think

This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Forbes Finds covers products and experiences we think you’ll love. Featured products are independently selected and linked to for your convenience. If you buy something using a link on this page, Forbes may receive a small share of that sale. Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette on opening night of the Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. (photo: WireImage) Looking to get on the fast track with your career? Want to ultimately become the CEO? Well, there are many resources to help you out. Just look at the avalanche of management books that come out each year (check out my top picks here). You can also get your M.B.A. to gain a well-rounded approach to learning the fundamentals of business. Yet not everyone has the time for B-school. However, there is an alternative: online courses. Coursera is an online platform offering hundreds of courses from top schools to help take your career to the next level. When a team doesn’t gel, it’s hard to come out a winner. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) photo credit: Getty Images One of the keys to management success is team building. Whe...

Adidas Sells Inclusivity, but Its Workforce Tells Another Story Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn

Adidas headlines didn’t end with the brand’s failed bid to trademark its three stripes in the EU Wednesday. It has allegedly been hiding racial inequality in its workplace behind ad campaigns dominated by black celebrities, according to a report by the NYT. Adidas’s share of the North American sports footwear market has grown from 4% to 11% since 2015, bolstered in part by partnerships with black athletes and musicians including James Harden, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and Kanye West. But fewer than 4.5% of the nearly 1,700 employees at its U.S. headquarters are black, while nearly 78% of employees at the company headquarters are white. Black employees anonymously told the NYT that they’re often discriminated against at the office. Adidas counts on influential black celebrities to market its products, but its representation gap has led to several public missteps reinforcing racist stereotypes. One example: It pulled a pair of white sneakers, meant to commemorate Black History Month, off the market earlier this year after customer backlash. It’s not just Adidas. Behind-the-scenes homogeneity has led to controversies in the broader fashion industry. Brands often respond by devoting r...