For 9 years, Mr. Bezos was his boss.
Mr. Positive, who Mr. Bezos claims despatched his representatives emails in search of a deal to suppress scandalous images of the manager, labored at Amazon from 2006 till early 2015.
Referred to as a gregarious presence with a mop of curly hair, Mr. Positive flew all over the world as one thing of an Amazon ambassador, constructing relationships with the publishing trade and serving to launch the corporate’s e-reader know-how overseas, in accordance with his LinkedIn profile, media reviews and interviews with former co-workers. Exterior of the workplace, the households of Messrs. Bezos and Positive interacted socially, in accordance with a former colleague of Mr. Positive’s.
Now, Mr. Positive is the deputy normal counsel at Nationwide Enquirer writer American Media LLC, a job he took on in November because the tabloid’s longtime lawyer, Cameron Stracher, departed.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos publicly accused Nationwide Enquirer writer David Pecker of blackmail and extortion, alleging that the corporate’s protection of him has been politically motivated. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains why his claims are making headlines. Picture by Emma McIntyre/Getty Pictures
In a weblog publish Thursday, Mr. Bezos stated the Enquirer threatened to launch sexually specific images of him except he referred to as off investigators he tasked with uncovering the sources and motivations behind an Enquirer article exposing an alleged affair. Two of the emails included within the weblog publish look like written by Mr. Positive, who didn’t reply to requests for remark.
In a written assertion, American Media stated it “believes fervently that it acted lawfully” in its reporting and can examine Mr. Bezos’ claims internally.
Mr. Positive has constructed a profession toggling between the publishing trade and information media, together with stints at NBC and Random Home Inc.
He began in Amazon’s authorized division in January 2006 managing a media and copyright regulation group, in accordance with his LinkedIn profile. That position gave technique to a place as Amazon’s public face within the publishing world, brokering relationships with authors and publishers and serving to them shed their skepticism of the net large.
Writer and tv producer Lee Goldberg wrote on Fb on Friday that he met Mr. Positive dozens of occasions throughout his tenure as an Amazon government, together with when Mr. Goldberg as soon as “dragged” him right into a bar to satisfy with the Authors Guild “to attempt to persuade them Amazon Publishing wasn’t run by Devil. He charmed everybody within the room.” Mr. Goldberg declined to remark additional.
Mr. Positive popped up at publishing conferences and occasions all over the world, and helped launch the Kindle e-reader in China and India, in accordance with his LinkedIn web page.
He was additionally the primary government to run an Amazon grant program that has awarded a reported $10 million to authors and literary teams. Final 12 months he advised the Seattle Instances that within the early days of this system, “They let me run with it, primarily.”
Since leaving Amazon, he has held a collection of advisory and full-time roles, many with firms on the intersection of know-how and publishing.
“He was very energetic in publishing’s transition to a extra digitally centered enterprise,” stated Jess Johns, who labored with him at OptiQly, a advertising and marketing analytics startup. “He was captivated with his work, about books and authors, and a thriving e-book publishing enterprise. He’s simply form of a drive and an power.”
Bart Meltzer, the chief government of literacy startup SpoonRead, was stunned to see the identify of his onetime adviser within the information. Mr. Meltzer had enlisted Mr. Positive’s assist in 2017 when beginning his firm.
“For me, being an outsider to the publishing trade, he was extraordinarily useful, extraordinarily optimistic, and keen to assist my mission to get children to learn extra,” Mr. Meltzer stated.
Most lately, Mr. Positive served as writer of startup Open Street Built-in Media Inc., the place he collaborated with authors and publishers in a job much like his work at Amazon.
His departure from Open Street after simply over a 12 months got here as a shock, in accordance with a former colleague, who stated he talked about the next wage at American Media as one purpose for the transfer.
“He’s a pleasant man, he’s a candy man, he’s additionally not silly,” the previous colleague stated. “It’s simply surprising to me that he would have put himself into this place.”
Write to Sara Randazzo at [email protected]