© Kraft74/Dreamstime
Amazon Logo On Black Amazon Shipping © Kraft74 Dreamstime

Bezos to Step Down as CEO of Amazon

Feb. 3, 2021
Amazon, which has grown from humble beginnings to a tech and retail giant under its founder, saw sales grow 38% last year.

In an email to employees February 2, Jeff Bezos announced he would be stepping down as CEO of Amazon, the internet retailer and tech company he founded 27 years ago. Andy Jassy, who currently runs Amazon’s cloud computing business, will be his replacement. Come the transition, which will happen sometime in the third quarter, Bezos will remain chairman of the board.

Bezos founded Amazon in 1995. It began life as an online bookseller, but in 2007 the company produced its first original product, the Kindle e-reader. From its humble beginnings as a Barns & Noble competitor, Amazon became an omnipresent feature of internet retail, a streaming service producing original shows and movies, and a technology company behind the Kindle Fire tablet, Echo voice assistant, and an infrastructure cloud computing service. Its size and breadth has led critics to call for its restructuring.

Amazon is one of the most valuable companies in the world, and Bezos, its largest stockholder, one of the richest men.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to increase Amazon’s stature. Amazon’s fourth-quarter 2020 financial results, also released February 2, showed $66.1 billion in operating cash flow for the pandemic-stricken year, compared to $39.5 billion the year before, and full-year 2020 net income of $21.3 billion as net sales jumped 38%.

In his email to Amazon staff, all 1.3 million of them, Bezos said moving to an executive chair role would allow him to put more attention into his other business ventures, including Blue Origin, his aerospace company; the Washington Post, which he owns; and various philanthropic organizations.

“I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring,” Bezos wrote. “Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future.”

On a call with reporters, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said Bezos would likely remain present at Amazon, and characterized the move as “a restructuring of who’s doing what.”

Bezos’ successor as CEO of Amazon, Andy Jassy, has worked at the company since 1997 and currently leads Amazon Web Services, which provides cloud computing services to businesses. “Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have,” wrote Bezos in his email. “He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence.”

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Global Supply Chain Readiness Report: The Pandemic and Beyond

Sept. 23, 2022
Jabil and IndustryWeek look into how manufacturers are responding to supply chain woes.

Empowering the Modern Workforce: The Power of Connected Worker Technologies

March 1, 2024
Explore real-world strategies to boost worker safety, collaboration, training, and productivity in manufacturing. Emphasizing Industry 4.0, we'll discuss digitalization and automation...

How Manufacturers Can Optimize Operations with Weather Intelligence

Nov. 2, 2023
The bad news? Severe weather has emerged as one of the biggest threats to continuity and safety in manufacturing. The good news? The intelligence solutions that build weather ...

How Organizations Connect and Engage with Frontline Workers

June 14, 2023
Nearly 80% of the 2.7 billion workers across manufacturing, construction, healthcare, transportation, agriculture, hospitality, and education are frontline. Learn best practices...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!