17 February 2021
In an email sent to employees, Jeff Bezos has announced that he is now ready to step down as Amazon CEO after serving the position for about three decades. He will continue in the role until Q3 2021 and then transition to an executive role with the Amazon Board. Andy Jassy who currently leads the Amazon Web Services (AWS) business will be taking over as the new CEO of Amazon.
Bezos founded Amazon as an online bookstore in Seattle, Washington about 26 years ago. The company went public in 1997 which is also the time Jassy joined the team. Since then, it has expanded to a wide range of categories and become a dominant force in many of those. Amazon's name is synonymous with online shopping and some of its widely popular products and services include Prime membership, Kindle eBook readers, Echo smart home devices, Alexa virtual assistant, Twitch live streaming platform, Fire lineup of devices, and AWS cloud storage services.
Since Bezos is the largest Amazon shareholder, the company's success has also helped him amass a fortune. His net worth is currently valued at around $200 billion making him the second richest person in the world. He is behind only the Tesla CEO Elon Musk who grabbed the top spot fairly recently.
With his new role, Bezos says he will be able to focus "on new products and early initiatives". He will be able to engage in a better way with other initiatives and passions like The Washington Post, the Bezos Earth Fund, Day 1 Fund, and Blue Origin. In other words, he is not retiring yet and is simply moving to a new role so that he can give more attention to his other projects.
Amazon has also announced its earnings report for the last quarter of 2020. It has recorded a revenue of well over $100 billion in the last three months of the last year. As pandemic has forced people to stay inside unless something is urgent, Amazon has benefitted significantly with more users shopping online, streaming online content, and also broadcasting their own content.