Foundering is an award-winning, serialized podcast from the journalists at Bloomberg Technology. Each season, Foundering brings you inside a different high-stakes drama from the technology industry, where its companies are wielding unprecedented capital and power.
A live Q&A with this season’s host, Jamie Tarabay, and a cybersecurity expert featured in the series, Allan Liska. This bonus episode was recorded following a live production of “Foundering: The John McAfee Story” in San Francisco at the RSA Conference in April 2023. The conversation, moderated by Foundering’s editor Mark Milian, explores the reporting process for the show and McAfee’s lasting impact on the digital security industry. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Coming soon: When nerdy gamer Sam Bankman-Fried rocketed to fame as the world’s richest 29-year-old, he pledged to donate his billions to good causes. But then his crypto exchange FTX collapsed Billions of dollars were missing, and Sam was in handcuffs. Those who knew him were left wondering — who was Sam really? A well-meaning billionaire who made a mistake? Or a calculating con man? From Wondery and Bloomberg, the makers of The Shrink Next Door, comes a new story of incredible wealth, betrayal and what happens when “doing good” goes really really bad. Learn more here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/spellcaster-the-fall-of-sam-bankman-fried/id1685258534 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A desperate escape by sea finds John McAfee deported to Europe. He ends up in a small Spanish town, but the walls are closing in on him. Reporter Jamie Tarabay investigates the final days of McAfee and the circumstances surrounding his death. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
John McAfee is back in America. He meets a new business partner who helps broker a lucrative deal. As reporter Jamie Tarabay learns, the new associate eventually inspires McAfee to make a long-shot bid for the US presidency. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
After cashing out, John McAfee uproots and tries to reinvent himself. He starts a new company and forms a yoga retreat. Reporter Jamie Tarabay also looks into a new and extremely dangerous hobby that captures McAfee’s interest. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
McAfee antivirus software was ubiquitous in the 1990s, and its creator John McAfee helped define the modern cybersecurity industry. McAfee was an archetype of the Silicon Valley founder — bombastic, enigmatic and brilliant. But his life would take a dark turn. Reporter Jamie Tarabay investigated the early days of his career and found that the warning signs were there from the beginning. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This season of Foundering retraces the life and gruesome death of John McAfee. In the 1980s and ’90s, the McAfee name was synonymous with computer antivirus software, and he helped establish the modern cybersecurity industry. But afterward, his life took a strange and dark turn. He was accused of murder and went on the lam. He sought to reinvent himself as a cryptocurrency guru and as a candidate for US president. Reporter Jamie Tarabay interviews McAfee’s colleagues, acquaintances, investigators and family members to demystify lies he told throughout his life, reveal the secrets he kept and resolve questions surrounding his public and decades-long self-destruction. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Hosted by Bloomberg Opinion senior executive editor Tim O'Brien, Crash Course will bring listeners directly into the arenas where epic business and social upheavals occur. Every week, Crash Course will explore the lessons to be learned when creativity and ambition collide with competition and power -- on Wall Street and Main Street, and in Hollywood and Washington. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It was the end of an era. Jeff Bezos announced he was leaving the CEO role at Amazon and becoming executive chairman. But as one epic business story was ending, another was beginning. His handpicked successor, Andy Jassy, would have to defuse the company’s mounting confrontations with regulators and employees, including a rising labor union at a Staten Island warehouse. Reporter Brad Stone chronicles what happened when Jeff Bezos’s feet left the ground – literally. One of the world’s wealthiest people wanted to spend more time on space travel, philanthropy, and a life of peripatetic indulgence with his new partner, Lauren Sanchez. But with pressing problems facing his company – and the planet – how serious is Bezos about deploying his vast resources and keen intellect to solving real problems? And 30 years after he started Amazon in a Seattle area garage, what will be Bezos and Amazon’s lasting legacy? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A wayward CEO, a tabloid newspaper determined to humiliate the world’s richest person, a callously disloyal brother and dramatic allegations of cyberespionage and international intrigue. The events surrounding the divorce of Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott in early 2019 were almost too far-fetched to believe. A day after they announced the dissolution of their 25-year marriage with a tweet, the National Enquirer published an explosive story, detailing Bezos’s extramarital relationship. Reporter Brad Stone tells the dramatic story of Bezos’s evolving personal life and its impact on the tech giant he founded — leading to his ultimate decision to step back from the role of CEO. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
For its first 20 years, Amazon relied on UPS and other delivery companies to get packages to its customers’ doorsteps. Then a shipping disaster one Christmas made Jeff Bezos decide to build his own transportation network. Reporter Brad Stone chronicles the remarkable expansion of the Amazon transportation network into our communities, the company’s strained relationship with its delivery contractors and drivers, who wear Amazon uniforms but do not technically work for the tech giant. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jeff Bezos made an unorthodox decision two decades ago to open the Amazon’s virtual shelves to merchandise from outside sellers, turning the site from a simple online store into a virtual flea market. But converting Amazon.com into a marketplace also brought unexpected challenges. Cheap knockoffs flooded onto the site. Small businesses discovered that their professional lives were dictated by the whims of executives in Seattle. Reporter Brad Stone chronicles the epic expansion of the Amazon Marketplace, which generated tremendous growth for the company and unprecedented wealth for Jeff Bezos. It also attracted a litany of complaints from customers and competitors – and the critical attention of regulators around the word. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Before Mrs. Maisel was marvelous and Jack Ryan saved the world, Jeff Bezos was convinced that the internet would change how people watched TV shows and movies. His response to the opportunity was called Prime Video –a seemingly prescient bet to bring a selection of video programming into the bundle of perks for Prime members. Reporter Brad Stone tells the story of Amazon’s bumpy road into Hollywood. After an early taste of success, the company navigated a public relations crisis around allegations of inappropriate behavior targeted at studio boss Roy Price. And then Bezos got his first significant brush with celebrity culture, sparking a personal reinvention that would have major consequences for the company and his own muted personal life. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
One day in 2011, a small team of Boston-based AI scientists got an unexpected call: Amazon wanted to buy their company. Its founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, was leading a secret team to develop a unique device, a voice-activated computer that could recognize and respond to user questions from across a noisy room. The world would soon know the device as the Amazon Echo, and its virtual personality as Alexa. Brad Stone tells the Alexa story and sizes up its impact on culture, and conventional notions of privacy. He also tracks down the actress who Amazon got to perform the voice that’s now in millions of homes worldwide. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today Amazon is an inescapable juggernaut. Back in 1994, it was just an idea, pitched by a former Wall Street banker named Jeff Bezos to disbelieving investors at the very birth of the internet era. Reporter Brad Stone, who has spent years chronicling the Amazon story, describes how the company almost flamed out the dot.bomb era and how Bezos rescued the company in part by ginning up two new lines of business – Prime shipping and its digital reader, the Kindle. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This season of Foundering reexamines a foundational story of the internet age: the rise of Amazon and its ingenious founder Jeff Bezos. Over the last 20 years, Amazon has changed the way we shop, what we watch on TV, how we interact with our devices and how businesses consume computing resources. But is Amazon now too powerful—and unaccountable? And how did Bezos, once widely admired, turn into a controversial figure of unfathomable wealth, whose personal pursuits are avidly covered by the tabloids? Following his best-selling book “Amazon Unbound,” Brad Stone continues his exploration of Amazon and its founder, presenting an unvarnished picture of a company that spans the globe and touches nearly every aspect of our lives—for better or worse. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On Breakthrough, a new series from the Prognosis podcast, we explore how the pandemic is changing our understanding of healthcare and medicine. We start with an examination of long Covid, a mysterious new illness that has stumped doctors attempting to treat symptoms that last for months and potentially years. It has changed the way hospitals work and forced healthcare officials to prepare for the next pandemic. Covid has also opened the door to revolutionary technology: messenger RNA vaccines. It’s a technology that never could have been proven so quickly outside the crucible of that first pandemic year, 2020, and it holds big implications for the future of medicine. Breakthrough launches on Oct. 19. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In the summer of 2020, amid a pandemic, historic unemployment and racial unrest, President Donald Trump developed a bizarre obsession with TikTok. In this episode, reporter Shelly Banjo and her colleagues take you aboard Air Force One and into the surreal tit-for-tat fight between TikTok and one of the most powerful men in the world. Updated May 27, 2021 to reflect ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming's decision to step down. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.