Updated: February 3, 2021 1:44:56 pm
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced that he’ll step down as the online retailer major’s CEO later this year, after 27 years at the helm. Bezos will now take over as Amazon’s executive chairman and continue to be its biggest shareholder, the company said on Tuesday.
Bezos will hand over the CEO reins to Andy Jassy, the head of Amazon’s cash-cow cloud computing division and someone who’s been at Amazon for much of its existence. Jassy is one of Bezos’ most trusted lieutenants and he was widely seen as his successor, given that he was appointed the CEO’s “shadow” technical (where he got to accompany Bezos to all his meetings) way back in 2003. He is credited as having written the AWS original business plan and having run the division since its launch in 2006. Jassy’s elevation also signals the importance of AWS among Amazon’s array of divisions.
Bezos, according to multiple reports, has been stepping back from day-to-day role managing Amazon’s business in recent years, focusing on the longer-term projects at the company, including his rocket venture Blue Origin.
“As much as I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition,” Bezos said in a letter to employees Tuesday. “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.”