Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down because the company’s chief officer this summer, after over a quarter-century at the helm of the retail, logistics and tech powerhouse.
Bezos will become Amazon’s executive chairman and remain its biggest shareholder, the corporate said on Tuesday. He will turn over the CEO reins to Andy Jassy, the top of Amazon’s cash-cow cloud computing division.
Bezos has propelled the web bookseller he started in his Bellevue, Wash., garage in 1994 into a behemoth worth $1.7 trillion employing over 1.3 million people, with physical stores, delivery trucks, movies, Internet-connected cameras, a cloud business that props up the CIA and enough paying subscribers to populate the ninth-largest country on Earth.
Jassy has been at Amazon for much of its existence and is one among Bezos’ most trusted lieutenants. He served within the coveted role of the CEO’s “shadow” technical — a task during which he accompanied Bezos to all or any his meetings to find out the business — in 2003. After writing the first document that became the Amazon Web Services business plan, he has run the division since it formally launched in 2006.
“As very much like I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition,” Bezos said during a letter to employees, announcing the top of his 27-year run. He said he planned to spend longer focused on philanthropy and other outside ventures.
“As Exec Chair i will be able to stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but even have the time and energy i want to specialise in the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions,” he wrote. “I’ve never had more energy, and this is not about retiring. I’m super hooked in to the impact i feel these organizations can have.”
Cloud computing is Amazon’s biggest profit center, whilst the corporate continues to profit tremendously from pandemic-fueled online shopping. On Tuesday, Amazon reported yet one more record-setting quarter, with sales during the vacation season topping $125 billion. AWS alone raked in $3.6 billion in operating profit — half the company’s total.
In recent years, Bezos had already largely stepped back from day-to-day role managing Amazon’s business, that specialize in longer-term projects at the corporate and his outside projects including rocket company Blue Origin.
He did take a more hands-on approach during the first months of the pandemic last year, however, as demand for deliveries soared but also tested Amazon’s ability to stay up. AWS, which sells cloud computing services to other companies, also experienced surging demand as many of us and businesses realigned for remote work.
“Jeff will still stay not only very involved but have his fingerprints on tons of areas of development and innovation,” Amazon Chief treasurer Brian Olsavsky told reporters on Tuesday. “So Jeff is basically not going anywhere, it’s more of a restructuring of who’s doing what.”
For Jassy, moving up to the CEO role means taking over a number of Amazon’s most pressing challenges. that has a burgeoning labor movement: Workers in Alabama are close to vote on whether to become the company’s first unionized warehouse within the U.S., while white-collar staff and engineers at its headquarters in Seattle have pushed the corporate to urge serious about addressing racial justice and therefore the climate.
Amazon is additionally under growing scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers within the U.S. and Europe who worry about its market dominance. Last summer, Bezos faced his first congressional grilling as a part of the House Democrats’ investigation that concluded that Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple are all monopolies. Now it’ll be up to Jassy to defend the corporate from critics who say it should be choppy.
Tuesday’s announcement also came on an equivalent day as news that Amazon would pay over $61.7 million to settle the Federal Trade Commission’s charges that the corporate withheld some tips of its Flex delivery drivers’ over two and a half years. Amazon didn’t immediately answer an invitation for comment.