The world's richest person based on his Amazon stake, Jeff Bezos will be stepping down as Amazon CEO and will become the company's executive chairman later this year. The transition, slated for the third quarter, will make Amazon Web Services' (AWS) founder Andy Jassy Amazon's next chief executive officer.
Bezos, who started the company 27 years ago as an internet bookseller, said in a note to employees posted on Amazon's website, "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."
He added, "I've never had more energy, and this isn't about retiring."
Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and has a MBA from Harvard Business School, according to the company's website. He founded Amazon Web Services (AWS) and grew it to a cloud platform used by millions, the company said
Tom Johnson, chief transformation officer at Mindshare Worldwide, said Jassy's promotion underscored the importance of web services to Amazon's future. "Jassy's background in steering AWS shows just how top of mind those services are to Amazon's business strategy. It'll be interesting to see how that affects their strategy and balancing that priority with a growing ad business and the commerce behemoth," he said.
Amazon said it was not announcing a replacement for Jassy at this time.
Since the start of the US coronavirus outbreak, consumers have turned increasingly to Amazon for delivery of home staples and medical supplies. Brick-and-mortar shops closed their doors; Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, instead recruited over 400,000 more workers and posted consecutive record profits.