In a surprise announcement, Amazon has said CEO Jeff Bezos is stepping down and transitioning to the role of Executive Chair in Q3 ‘21.
Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon and has been inextricably linked with the company ever since. He’s guided it from an online bookstore to the e-commerce and cloud computing behemoth it currently is. In turn, the company has helped drive Bezos’ personal worth, making him one of the richest people in the world, only eclipsed by Tesla’s Elon Musk in January 2021.
After nearly three decades at the helm of Amazon, Bezos is taking a step back.
“Amazon is what it is because of invention. We do crazy things together and then make them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalized recommendations, Prime’s insanely-fast shipping, Just Walk Out shopping, the Climate Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, infrastructure cloud computing, Career Choice, and much more,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. That yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive. When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention. Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.”
The company says Andy Jassy will become the new Chief Executive Officer.
Given that Bezos owns aerospace company Blue Origin, as well as The Washington Post, he certainly has enough to keep him busy outside of Amazon. However, given his statement’s emphasis on surprising inventions, one can’t help but wonder if he will focus on his other businesses, or if he plans on a second act.