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If you count early employees as co-founders, then fine (that's probably why you wrote "de facto").


"Over blueberry pancakes at the Sash Mill Cafe in Santa Cruz, Bezos managed to convince one of them, Shel Kaphan, to become employee number one."

They used that phrasing because that's how Amazon's PR people described the situation to them. The reality seems to have been more like two cofounders than boss + employee. Though I would not be surprised if Shel was actually a cofounder in the strict legal sense as well, meaning that he got stock at the time the company was founded. I'll ask him next time I talk to him.

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