Print 20 comment(s) - last by KnightBreed.. on Jul 2 at 12:14 PM

(left) Woot CEO Matt Rutledge, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos  (Source: Woot)
“Matt Rutledge revealed to be monstrous pseudo-human creation of Jeff Bezos.” -- Woot CEO Matt Rutledge

Amazon acquired the snarky deal-of-the-day website Woot yesterday, The Dallas News reports, for a price tag of $110 million in cold, hard cash. And according to an e-mail sent out to all Woot employees by CEO Matt Rutledge, some free downloads were thrown in for good measure:

We think now is the right time to join with Amazon because, quite simply, every company that becomes a subsidiary gets two free downloads until the end of July, and we very much need that new thing with Trent Reznor’s wife on our iPods.

Woot, which runs special daily promotions on an assortment of products, will continue to operate independently, with Amazon acting more-or-less as a financial backer, similar to Amazon's previous acquisitions of Zappos and Audible.

"It will be easier to run an aggressive-growth company when you have the backing of a big operation like Amazon," Rutledge told The News.

In his e-mail to employees, Rutledge assured them that the culture of the young, irreverent company will not change. The company's founder also stated that he will remain CEO.

Here are some highlights from the e-mail:

From a practical point of view, it will be as if we are simply adding one person to the organizational hierarchy, except that one person will just happen to be a billion-dollar company that could buy and sell each and every one of you like you were office furniture. 


They’re not looking to have their folks come in and run Woot unless we ask them to, which incidentally you can do by turning off the bathroom lights and saying the word “Kindle” three times; a helpful Amazon employee will appear in the mirror.


And we need a powerful ally in case Steve Jobs finally breaks down and comes after us for all our Apple jokes over the years. Don’t think of it as a buyout; think of it as NATO!

But honestly, you should just read the e-mail in its entirety for some good laughs.

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By InvertMe on 7/1/2010 1:59:01 PM , Rating: 3
So I went to W00T and checked out their deal for today..

A Kindle.

The assimilation has begun.

By nafhan on 7/1/2010 2:01:31 PM , Rating: 4
Did you also notice that it was $150? I don't see the problem...

By InvertMe on 7/1/2010 2:41:08 PM , Rating: 4
The problem is they are sold out! :)

By Spivonious on 7/1/2010 6:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
I saw the Nook was $150 the other day direct from B&N. I predict <$100 prices for Christmas this year.

By rs1 on 7/1/2010 2:43:55 PM , Rating: 2
You don't want a Kindle for $150?

By ClownPuncher on 7/1/2010 3:51:14 PM , Rating: 3
I'm a die-hard paper book fan and I even had to check that out. If I'm at home, paper books all the way; if I'm going on vacation or out and about...a $150 Kindle is pretty appealing.

Still dont get it...
By xler8r on 7/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Still dont get it...
By geddarkstorm on 7/1/2010 4:02:39 PM , Rating: 3
Insurance. Now they have the resources and power of a massive company to buoy them up and work with. Amazon gets special whole sale manufacturer and shipping deals, which hopefully will be translated to W00T as well. That could mean better stuff for even more outrageous deals.

RE: Still dont get it...
By TomZ on 7/1/2010 5:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
Aside from the higher-ups in the company wanting more money
Why do you so quickly dismiss this motivation? I'd love to start a business and sell it in a few years for $150M. That's the dream of many entrepreneurs.

RE: Still dont get it...
By Darksider on 7/1/2010 5:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
Think of how many times a huge retailer like Amazon comes across a potential deal to acquire a large amount of an item that they cannot sell on their 'regular' site. Amazon cannot sell things like open box, refurbished, and discontinued items like Woot can. Woot already has 'the brand' and the customer base for that type of thing, too.

Seems like it will be a great match to me.

RE: Still dont get it...
By Carl B on 7/2/2010 8:44:30 AM , Rating: 2
Because now they're rich. At some point after founding a company, it's always nice to get that big payday.

By iFX on 7/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Well
By Modeverything on 7/1/2010 1:34:09 PM , Rating: 1
They're point is they are not going to be run by Amazon, they will continue to operate as usual. Amazon simply owns the company and will make money from them.

RE: Well
By Modeverything on 7/1/2010 1:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'm meant their, not they're. Sometimes my fingers outrun my brain.

RE: Well
By amanojaku on 7/1/2010 1:37:41 PM , Rating: 2
Someone else will point this out, but it was mentioned that Amazon is not assuming any control over Woot. At least not yet.

EMC said the same thing when it purchased VMware. After two years of silence EMC forced out the CEO, her husband and co-founder quit, and management from the top down changed completely over two more years. As a result VMware is focusing more on money-grubbing than technology and services. It's still the leader in virtualization, but that can easily change due to poor management.

Sometimes a big company that purchases a smaller company should do nothing more than provide funding and leave a perfectly good company alone.

RE: Well
By xler8r on 7/1/2010 2:00:22 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe...they're going to stage a coup inside and take over Amazon with witty quotes. :p

Matt Rutledge
By Aikouka on 7/1/2010 1:11:33 PM , Rating: 3
sounds like a pretty awesome CEO!

RE: Matt Rutledge
By InvertMe on 7/1/2010 1:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
I know. I wish mine was that cool.

Good for them
By nafhan on 7/1/2010 1:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
Woot's awesome, and it sounds like (hopefully) that won't change.
On a side note, great place to buy MP3 players! I've bought a Zune and 5 Sansa MP3 players there over the past several years. The last one was a Sansa clip 2gb that I bought for $17 including shipping.

By KnightBreed on 7/2/2010 12:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
In his e-mail to employees, Rutledge assured them that the culture of the young, irreverent company will not change. The company's founder also stated that he will remain CEO.

I'm sure that's what every founder says when they sell their company. And how often does it actually pan out that way? Woot now has a big brother watching the company's every move. There will be pressure to increase profits and decrease operating costs. Sounds great for stakeholders, but it often leads to higher prices and crappier service.

I don't begrudge the man for selling Woot. Hell, I would have done the same. It is, however, naive to think things will stay the same.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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