Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced his decision to step down as CEO and transition to a new position as executive chair of the Amazon board in the third quarter of 2021. He will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who currently serves as CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Bezos says that he will remain engaged in Amazon but he’s stepping down to focus on his other businesses. The once world’s richest man taking after Microsoft founder and former world’s richest man, Bill Gates who made a similar decision in 2020.
“Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. 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,” Bezos said in an email announcing the decision.
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Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 and has been CEO since. His leadership saw the present-day e-commerce giant and one of the most dominant and valuable technology companies in the world grow from being an online bookstore.
As Jeff Bezos steps down, he’ll be slightly distanced from the day-to-day business of running Amazon. The free time will give him room to focus on new projects and early initiatives. The projects include the $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund, and Blue Origins, his aerospace firm. Blue Origins had only recently resumed test flights at the end of 2020.
Andy Jassy joined Amazon in 1997. He also led the Amazon Web Services team since its beginning in 2003 and became AWS’ CEO in 2016. Jeff Bezos still has time before he is to step down in Q3 2021, but Jassy looks like a good replacement.
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