Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to Step Down as CEO

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, will step down later this year as CEO, the company announced this Tuesday.

He will be transitioning to executive chair of the company anytime in Q3 of 2021, with current Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy taking over Bezos’ top executive role at the company. Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and has led the AWS cloud team since its inception.

As executive chairman, Bezos said the transition would give him “time and energy” to focus on his other ventures.

Bezos said in a letter to Amazon employees, “Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it is consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it is 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 have never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.”

Being the company’s biggest shareholder, he will still have broad influence over Amazon. Amazon’s Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky clarified in a call with reporters, “Jeff is really not going anywhere. It’s more of a restructuring of who’s doing what.”

Jeff Bezos, age 57, has served as the CEO of Amazon since it launched as an online bookshop back in 1994. The company now employs an estimate 1.3 million people all over the world and has a role in almost everything – from advertising, groceries, gadgets, streaming video to cloud services, and package delivery.

In fact, it was the fast, free shipping services that endeared them to millions of shoppers who used the site to buy clothes, office supplies, appliances and just about anything. Its already explosive growth skyrocketed even more in 2020, as the viral pandemic drastically influenced a surge in online shopping.

According to Forbes’ list of billionaires, he has accumulated a fortune of $196.2 billion, well enough for him to be named as “the world’s richest person.”

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