E-commerce giant Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos has stepped down as CEO, handing over the reins to Andy Jassy after over two decades in the role.
Bezos, who has amassed a fortune of almost $200 billion, led Amazon since its inception as an online bookshop in 1994 to the retail giant it is today. The firm that employs over 1.3 million people globally will now be led by Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon’s cloud computing business. The change is set to take place during the second half of 2021.
“I’m excited to announce that this Q3, I’ll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board, and Andy Jassy will become CEO. In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence,” said Bezos in an email to Amazon’s employees.
He will now be spending more time on his other ventures. Among his most immediate undertaking is the launch of his private spaceflight company, Blue Origin, scheduled to take off on 20 July. Bezos also mentioned he would be investing more time combating climate change and overseeing the newspaper he owns, The Washington Post.
Although Bezos is vacating his role as Chief Executive, he will still be with the company, transitioning to a strategic advisor role to the CEO. Bezos retains 10% of all of Amazon’s shares, making him the company’s single largest shareholder.
The new CEO, Andy Jassy, joined the company in 1997 and led its cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services since 2003, which has been hugely successful, contributing to roughly 42% of Amazon’s total profits.
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