Editorial Note: The change in leadership at Amazon will clearly be taken as a wake-up call by their competitors. AWS has been making good progress since the pandemic and with Andy taking up the role of CEO, we can definitely see him giving competitors a good challenge in the business.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon has announced that he will step down from his role of the company he founded some 27 years ago in the third quarter of 2021. The news comes as a surprise to many as Bezos has been the company’s driving force since its founding.
Andy Jassy, the Chief Executive of Amazon Web Services will take over as CEO of Amazon with Jeff transitioning to the role of Executive Chair starting July 1st. The transition arrives at a time when Amazon seems unstoppable, fuelled by record sales amid the pandemic and generating massive cash and profits from Amazon Web Services.
In an email statement to employees, Jeff said he intends to focus his energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.
“Millions of customers depend on us for our services and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods. 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. I’ve never had more energy and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organisations can have”, stated Jeff.
Jeff has a net worth of nearly USD $200 billion, making him the second-wealthiest man in the world behind Elon Musk, who last month supplanted Jeff in the top spot.
According to a Reuters report, Jassy is known for understanding highly technical details and has regularly taken jabs at legacy player Oracle Corp and cloud rival Microsoft Corp, which AWS continues to exceed in sales. Jeff has made fewer public remarks about competitors.
Under Jassy’s leadership, Amazon’s cloud business has signed major customers including Verizon, McDonald’s and Honeywell. Silicon Valley startups have long relied on AWS and the division’s annual revenue grew 37% in 2019 and 30% in 2020, helping cement its position as the market leader.
The online retailer also reported fourth-quarter sales jumped 44% to USD $125.6 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of USD $119.7 billion.
“Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future. We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish. We serve individuals and enterprises and we’ve pioneered two complete industries and a whole new class of devices. We are leaders in areas as varied as machine-learning and logistics, and if an Amazonian’s idea requires yet another new institutional skill, we’re flexible enough and patient enough to learn it”, said Jeff.