Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon CEO

Andy Jassy, the chief executive of Amazon Web Services, will take over as Amazon's CEO

Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon CEO

Andy Jassy, the chief executive of Amazon Web Services, will take over as Amazon’s CEO

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos has resigned from his position as chief executive, three decades since launching the platform. Jeff is now stepping away from the American retail powerhouse, saying the decision will give him more time and energy to focus on his other ventures. He will now transition to the role of executive chair, and Andy Jassy will step in as Amazon’s new CEO. 

Jeff’s fascination with technology started at the age of 16 when he landed a job at McDonald’s, which he said gave him an insight into customer service, working under pressure and the value of being a good manager. He founded Amazon in 1995, which started as an online bookseller into a $1.7 trillion global retail and logistics empire ‘ which has also made Jeff into one of the world’s richest people.  

“This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name,” Bezos wrote a letter to employees Tuesday. “The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, ‘What’s the internet?’ … Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognized as one of the most successful companies in the world.” 

Bezos said that he is excited for the transition, which will free up more time for him to work on outside projects, allowing him to focus on new products and early initiatives, he said. “Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming,” Bezos wrote. “When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else. As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions. I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.” He added that Jassy “will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence.” 

The pandemic has boosted Amazon’s retail and cloud businesses, beating Wall Street analysts’ projections for both sales and profit. Amazon’s stock has grown nearly 69% over the past year. Amazon posted quarterly net sales of $125.6 billion, up 44% from the same period in the prior year and well ahead of the $119.7 billion Wall Street analysts had projected. Amazon said it delivered more than a billion products to customers worldwide during a “record-breaking holiday season.” For the full year, Amazon reported total net sales increased 38% to $386.1 billion, $6 billion more than analysts had projected. The key growth area for Amazon is its advertising business. The company’s “other revenue,” which primarily includes advertising, grew 64% during the quarter, an acceleration in growth from the two previous quarters, CFO Brian Olsavsky said on a call with analysts Tuesday. The strong profit growth came even as Amazon spent more than $11.5 billion on pandemic-related costs in 2020, Olsavsky added. 

Amazon’s strong overall sales performance “may obscure the more important story of Amazon’s surging ad business,” eMarketer Principal Analyst Andrew Lipsman said in a statement. “Two consecutive quarters of huge bottom-line beats in the face of rising operational costs and softening AWS growth points to a much more profitable ads business than previously appreciated.”

Latifa Yedroudj
Latifa Yedroudj

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