Changing of the guard at Amazon and a new look to The Week Ahead


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This week is a time for new starts and significant finishes. I am taking up a new role, guiding you through the coming days’ news with this newsletter. The intention is to add a little more personality to the weekly guide to upcoming corporate and world events. If you like it, tell your colleagues, family and friends to sign up here. If you think it is too much, or too little, or indeed just enough, you can email me at [email protected]

Now for an ending. This week Jeff Bezos draws to a close his tenure as chief executive of Amazon — he’s not going far, just taking the executive chair role. Andy Jassy, the ecommerce giant’s cloud-computing boss, will net $214m in Amazon stock when he takes over the chief executive role at the $1.7tn company on the anniversary of Amazon’s founding on Monday. You can read the Financial Times analysis of the Bezos legacy and how the company might operate without him at the helm here.

This week will also see the end of European sporting seasons with the finals of the long delayed Euro 2020 tournament to be played on Sunday July 11 at London’s Wembley Stadium — Covid-19 restrictions willing. Across town, on the same day, Wimbledon hosts the conclusion of the increasingly young, according to FT analysis, men’s singles tennis contest. In the US, for basketball fans, we have the start of the — again delayed — NBA Finals. Sign up to Scoreboard for a weekly round-up by FT writers of the business of sport.


We will learn how the food retailers are adapting to pandemic shopping trends this week. There are half-year results from British online grocery business Ocado — perhaps announcing an overseas expansion of its retail operations. It is hard to overstate the benefit the pandemic has brought to online delivery. Having for many years had to justify itself against those sceptical about widespread adoption of online grocery shopping, Ocado’s boss Tim Steiner now finds himself defending the Ocado model against even more rapid delivery services, such as Getir, GoPuff and Gorillas, which have become the darlings of investors.

The supermarket chain J Sainsbury will give a first-quarter trading update on Tuesday, then holds its annual meeting on Friday. Sainsbury’s, like other primarily bricks-and-mortar retailers, has been focused on improving its online offering. Chief executive Simon Roberts has described the accelerated adoption of ecommerce during the pandemic as “one of the most significant things to happen to the industry for the past 20 years”.

Economic data

The state of the global recovery from Covid-19 will be outlined by the OECD on Wednesday, perhaps with another upgrade to growth forecasts as the vaccine rollout gathers pace. The biggest concern is for developing countries, which have yet to feel the full economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. Agustín Carstens, general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, has warned that the worst is yet to come for these nations.

The UK’s housing market has been resilient during the pandemic, thanks in no small part to the stamp duty holiday, introduced last July. This week the Halifax updates its monthly house price data, which might give an indication of how prices will move now that the government is withdrawing the tax break.

Key economic and company reports

Here is a more complete list of what to expect in terms of company reports and economic data this week.


  • Eurozone, IHS Markit Composite PMI (Manufacturing and Services)

  • UK, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders releases new car registration data

  • UK, Cips and IHS Markit Services PMI (Manufacturing)

  • Jeff Bezos steps down as chief executive of Amazon


  • Eurostat retail sales figures

  • US, IHS/Markit sector PMI

  • Reserve Bank of Australia to hold its monthly board meeting

  • US Census Bureau publishes monthly motor vehicle sales data

  • UK, Cips and IHS Markit Construction PMI

  • US, IHS Markit Services PMI

  • Ocado (H1)

  • J Sainsbury (Q1 trading update)

  • Marks and Spencer (AGM)


  • Halifax publishes its monthly and yearly house price indices

  • OECD releases its Employment Outlook 2021

  • Germany, industrial production figures for May

  • Südzucker (Q1 trading update)


  • UK, RICS house price balance

  • First Group (preliminary results)

  • Persimmon (H1 trading update)

  • Severn Trent (AGM)

  • OMV (Q2 trading update)


  • China, consumer price index and inflation figures for June

  • UK, ONS monthly index of production figures for May

  • UK, GDP figures

World events

Here is a rundown of other events and milestones this week.


  • NHS, the UK’s public health service, celebrates its 73rd birthday

  • Algeria celebrates Independence Day

  • 25th anniversary of Dolly the sheep becoming the first mammal to be successfully cloned


  • 74th annual Cannes Film Festival, postponed from its original date in May, starts in the south of France with Spike Lee presiding




  • G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meet in Venice, chaired by the Italian presidency. The meeting will focus on three pillars of action: People, Planet, Prosperity

  • Yitzhak Herzog takes office as the new president of Israel. He succeeds Reuven Rivlin, after the Knesset voted on June 2 to appoint him for the single seven-year term

  • Argentina celebrates Independence Day

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