Jeff Bezos stepping down as Amazon CEO
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down as chief executive of the e-commerce giant, turning over
the reins to the company’s longtime cloud-computing boss Andy Jassy. Bezos, who owns The Washington Post,
will transition to the role of executive chair this summer, the company said Tuesday.
Jeff Bezos has written to Amazon employees insisting he isn’t retiring and wants to focus on ‘passions
including space and climate change as he steps down as CEO and hands reins to Andy Jassy
the web exec who canceled Parler
Jeff Bezos is stepping down as the CEO of Amazon, 27 years after founding it with his ex-wife and building
it into one of the most successful companies of all time now worth $1.7 trillion.
Bezos, 57, announced the move in a letter to his 1.3 million Amazon employees Tuesday where he insisted he
isn’t retiring but wants to focus on his ‘passions’ including his space and climate change ventures.
He will be replaced by 53-year-old Andy Jassy, the current CEO of the Amazon empire cloud business Amazon
Web Services (AWS) and the man behind the move to cancel Parler back in January.
Jassy has been with the company for 24 years and built AWS into the $40billion, internet-dominating machine it
AWS dominates a third of the internet’s cloud business – by far the largest. It is how governments, companies and
individuals keep data and operate online.
Bezos will move to the role of Executive Chair where he says he wants to focus on ‘new products and initiatives’.
It is not clear who will take over Jassy’s role at AWS and what the future holds for the cloud computing giant.
The move will not happen until the third quarter of this year.
Bezos didn’t explain the timing for the announcement on Tuesday but it comes as he faces increased scrutiny
from Washington over Amazon’s business practices.
The retail giant has been plagued by antitrust investigations, calls for stricter sanctions, and cutting questions
over its treatment of its workforce amid the pandemic.
Bezos himself was hauled before Congress in July to answer to accusations that Amazon, along with other big
tech firms were using their position to crush competition.
Bezos announced the change in an email to staff on Tuesday afternoon and as the company reported bumper
2020 Q4 earnings of more than $100billion.
Throughout the whole of 2020, Amazon stocks rose by 85 percent.
In the memo, Bezos insisted this ‘isn’t about retiring’ and said he was ‘excited about this transition’.
He described the role he has occupied for almost three decades as ‘consuming’ and said it was ‘hard to put
attention on anything else’.
Bezos said he ‘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.’