Jeff Bezos to depart Amazon CEO put up after 27 years, turn into govt chair

Jeff Bezos bows to a crowd
Enlarge / Jeff Bezos greets a crowd at Amazon’s Smbhav occasion in New Delhi on January 15, 2020.

Jeff Bezos, the founding father of Amazon and Elon Musk’s perpetual rival within the seesaw “world’s richest man” contest, right this moment introduced he’s leaving the CEO put up of the Web big he has led since 1994.

Bezos will change from the CEO spot to Amazon’s govt chairmanship in Q3 of this yr, he instructed his “fellow Amazonians” in a employees e-mail posted on Amazon’s website. Bezos’ substitute as CEO will likely be Andy Jassy, a key player in Amazon Web Services, the corporate’s cloud-computing division.

“This journey started some 27 years in the past,” Bezos wrote. “Amazon was solely an concept, and it had no title. The query I used to be requested most incessantly at the moment was, ‘What is the Web?’ Blessedly, I have never needed to clarify that in a protracted whereas.”

Bezos, 57, plans to remain concerned in product improvement. “Within the Exec Chair function, I intend to focus my energies and a spotlight on new merchandise and early initiatives,” he wrote. “Andy is well-known inside the corporate and has been at Amazon virtually so long as I’ve. He will likely be an impressive chief, and he has my full confidence.”

Amazon now has 1.3 million workers and “serve[s] tons of of hundreds of thousands of shoppers and companies,” Bezos famous.

“How did that occur? Invention. Invention is the basis of our success,” he wrote. “We have performed loopy issues collectively, after which made them regular. We pioneered buyer opinions, 1-Click on, personalised suggestions, Prime’s insanely-fast delivery, Simply Stroll Out buying, the Local weather Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, market, infrastructure cloud computing, Profession Alternative, and rather more. For those who get it proper, a number of years after a shocking invention, the brand new factor has turn into regular. Individuals yawn. And that yawn is the best praise an inventor can obtain.”

Bezos wrote that he is pleased with Amazon’s “$15 minimal wage and the Local weather Pledge” and mentioned, “I discover my work significant and enjoyable. I get to work with the neatest, most gifted, most ingenious teammates.”

Bezos not “retiring,” will give attention to “different passions”

Shifting from the CEO to govt chairman function will give Bezos time to give attention to particular initiatives, he wrote. “Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep accountability, and it is consuming,” he wrote. “When you could have a accountability like that, it is exhausting to place consideration on anything. As Exec Chair I’ll keep engaged in necessary Amazon initiatives but additionally have the time and vitality I must give attention to the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Put up, and my different passions. I’ve by no means had extra vitality, and this is not about retiring. I am tremendous passionate concerning the influence I believe these organizations can have.”

Amazon announced Q4 2020 earnings right this moment, reporting web gross sales of $125.6 billion, up 44 p.c yr over yr. Internet earnings within the quarter was $7.2 billion, up from $3.3 billion within the earlier yr’s fourth quarter. Internet gross sales for full-year 2020 had been $386.1 billion, up 38 p.c from 2019. Internet earnings was $21.3 billion in full-year 2020, up from $11.6 billion the earlier yr.

Jassy constructed AWS into huge enterprise

Jassy labored carefully with Bezos earlier than beginning AWS, in accordance with a 2015 profile of Jassy by CRN, a commerce publication:

Previous to being appointed head of AWS, Jassy had been in what’s identified at Amazon as a “Technical Assistant” function, working with Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

“On the time, we referred to as it a ‘shadow function.’ And it actually was like being Jeff’s shadow—I participated in all of his conferences, together with his one-on-ones,” mentioned Jassy, who spent 18 months within the place.

Amazon Internet Providers grew to become commercially out there in 2006, providing infrastructure-as-a-service and different cloud computing capabilities. AWS has turn into considered one of Amazon’s key companies, and in full-year 2020, it earned $45.4 billion in web gross sales and $13.5 billion in working earnings.

Jassy began the AWS workforce inside Amazon in 2003, the CRN article mentioned. Three early AWS engineers “described Jassy as a very detail-focused supervisor with a photographic reminiscence and a penchant for asking tough and insightful technical questions,” the article mentioned.

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