According to NPR, Bezos will become Amazon’s executive chairman and remain its biggest shareholder, the company said on Tuesday. He will hand over the CEO position to Andy Jassy, the head of Amazon’s cloud computing division.
Starting off as an online bookselling business in his own garage in Bellevue, Wash in 1994, Bezos has managed to propel Amazon to greater heights making it one of the biggest tech companies in the world valued at $1.7 trillion and employing over 1.3 million people.
Aside from its numerous physical stores and delivery trucks, Amazon has its hands in the movie and entertainment sector, web security, and the cloud business popularly known as AWS that has many subscribers that drive its highest income.
According to NPR, Jassy has been at Amazon for much of its existence and is one of Bezos’ most trusted lieutenants. He served in the coveted role of the CEO’s “shadow” technical — a role in which he accompanied Bezos to all his meetings to learn the business — in 2003. After writing the original document that became the Amazon Web Services business plan, he has run the division since it formally launched in 2006.
“As much as I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition,” Bezos said in a letter to employees, announcing the end of his 27-year run. He said he planned to spend more time focused on philanthropy and other outside ventures.
“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 wrote. “I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.”
Cloud computing is Amazon’s biggest earner, with the AWS platform contributing huge amounts of profit to the company not forgetting its online shopping division, which has grown even further due to the current pandemic as many rely on online shopping to get what they need.
On Tuesday, Amazon reported yet another record-setting quarter, with sales during the holiday season topping $125 billion. AWS alone raked in $3.6 billion in operating profit — half of the company’s total.
In recent years, Bezos had already largely stepped back from day-to-day role managing of Amazon’s business based on reports by NPR and started focusing on longer-term projects at the company and his outside projects including rocket company Blue Origin.
Jeff Bezos is handing the role of CEO to Andy Jassy, one of his most trusted lieutenants
“Jeff will continue to stay not only very involved but have his fingerprints on a lot of areas of product development and innovation,” Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky told reporters on Tuesday. “So Jeff is really not going anywhere, it’s more of a restructuring of who’s doing what.”
As Jassy takes on the role of Amazon CEO, he now faces pressing challenges such as the labour movement, which has taken a more active role recently as workers in Alabama want to become the company’s first unionized warehouse in the U.S.
Meanwhile, those in white-collar jobs such as the engineers at its headquarters in Seattle have pushed the company to get serious about addressing racial justice and the climate.
Amazon is also facing scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe, who fear its large market dominance. Last summer, Bezos faced his first congressional grilling as part of the House Democrats’ investigation that concluded that Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple are all monopolies.
Tuesday’s announcement also came on the same day as news that Amazon would pay over $61.7 million to settle the Federal Trade Commission’s charges that the company withheld some tips of its Flex delivery drivers’ over two and a half years.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.