The world’s second-richest person Jeff Bezos has announced that he will step down as CEO of Amazon, the e-commerce and cloud services giant he founded 27 years ago. Jeff Bezos said resigning as Amazon’s CEO will give him more time to focus on “other passions” including philanthropic initiatives Day 1 Fund and Bezos Earth Fund, space company Blue Origin and The Washington Post. “I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring,” he added. Bezos will focus on “new products and early initiatives” as Amazon’s Executive Chairman.
This summer, Bezos, 57, will hand the keys of the world’s largest online retailer to Andy Jassy, head of its cloud division Amazon Web Services known as AWS. Bezos is ending his role as CEO on a high note: the business he began as an internet bookseller 27 years ago is now one of the world’s most valuable companies and posted three consecutive record profits after losses in decades prior. On Tuesday, Amazon reported quarterly sales above $100 billion for the first time.
Andy Jassy, who will replace Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO, currently heads Amazon Web Services (AWS). The 53-year-old joined Amazon in 1997 just days after completing his MBA at Harvard Business School. Jassy, who served as the first technical adviser to Bezos early in his career, founded AWS in 2006 and turned it into the world’s biggest cloud service provider.
Tom Johnson, chief transformation officer at global marketing firm Mindshare, said Jassy’s promotion underscored the centrality of the web hosting business to Amazon’s strategy. “Jassy’s background in steering AWS shows just how top of mind those services are to Amazon’s business strategy. It’ll be interesting to see how that affects their strategy and balancing that priority with a growing ad business and the commerce behemoth,” he said.