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Jeff Bezos To Step Down As Amazon CEO

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Trillion-dollar e-commerce giant Amazon will soon have its second ever CEO.

The company announced Tuesday that AWS CEO Andy Jassy will become CEO in the third quarter, and founder Jeff Bezos will transition to the role of executive chair.

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, and under his leadership the company has grown from an online bookseller to a $1.7 trillion behemoth with its influence spread over all sectors of the U.S. and global economy.

"Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else," Bezos wrote in a letter to Amazon's 1.3 million employees. "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. 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."

Amazon has not only disrupted the retail industry, it has become a leading player in the industrial market, with its massive delivery network, in the data center space, with its Amazon Web Services platform, and in several other real estate sectors. 

Jassy joined the company in 1997, and he became the likely successor to Bezos after executive Jeff Wilke announced plans to retire in August, The Washington Post reported last year.

The announcement came as Amazon released its Q4 earnings after the market closed Tuesday. The company reported $7.2B in profit from Q4, up from $3.3B in Q4 2019. Its full-year 2020 net income was $21.3B, up from $11.6B the prior year. 

Bezos, in a statement in the earnings release, attributed the company's growth to its ability to invent new products, such as Amazon Prime, Kindle and Alexa. 

"When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention," Bezos said. "Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.”

Related Topics: Amazon, Jeff Bezos, Amazon Prime