business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From The Information:

"Over the past decade, Amazon has built an army of several hundred economists with doctorates who inform executives’ decisions in e-commerce, cloud computing and other businesses—an approach other tech giants have copied.

"The architect of that buildout, Chief Economist Pat Bajari, quietly left in March, he confirmed to The Information. To replace him, the company has tapped Chris Nosko, who most recently worked as chief of Uber’s science and analytics teams, Amazon confirmed."

This is a big deal, as the story points out that "Amazon’s economists play key roles in helping executives make decisions about everything from where to build new warehouses and data centers to how much to pay workers, work that’s become even higher stakes as Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has been cutting costs and reviewing businesses.  The company now employs around 400 PhD economists, up from around 150 in 2019, according to two people with knowledge of its economics team, meaning it rivals the Federal Reserve as one of the largest employers of economists in the U.S."

According to the story, "Bajari declined to discuss his work at Amazon or the circumstances of his departure with The Information, saying only that he did not leave because he was dissatisfied. He’s now working for Keystone Strategy, a consulting firm that has worked with companies including Amazon, Microsoft, Uber and Meta Platforms, where he’ll focus primarily on data analytics, as well as do some antitrust work."

Just curious.  How many PhD economists do you have on your team?  How many PhD economists are employed in total by the top 10-20-30 retailers in the country?  (I'm not being snarky here.  I really don't know and am very curious.)