Jeff Bezos to step down as Amazon CEO; AWS chief Andy Jassy will take over

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, who has been CEO since 1995, announces plans to step down from his role later this year, and transition to the role of executive chair. He will be replaced by AWS chief Andy Jassy.

Jeff Bezos to step down as Amazon CEO; AWS chief Andy Jassy will take over

Wednesday February 03, 2021,

2 min Read

The man who founded internet behemoth Amazon has decided to step down from his role as chief executive officer (CEO) and take over as executive chairman. Jeff Bezos, who has held the role for nearly 30 years, will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who heads the company's cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services.

In a blog post on the Amazon site, Jeff Bezos wrote, “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. As Executive 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 organisations can have.”

Andy Jassy, a long-time Amazon veteran, will take over as the CEO in the third quarter of this year.

Andy Jassy AWS

Andy Jassy, the CEO of AWS, will be the new Amazon chief.

Jeff Bezos' decision to step down as CEO is surprising. He founded Amazon in July 1994, and it has since then evolved from an online book store into a corporate behemoth. Today, its interests span across sectors, including a fledged ecommerce marketplace, cloud technologies, entertainment, music devices among others.

In the blog post, Jeff Bezos said, “In the Executive Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence.”

The stepping down is reminiscent of the trend in other technology giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple, which now have non-founders as CEOs.

Jeff Bezos remained extremely optimistic about the company, “Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future. We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish.”

He further told his employees, “Keep inventing, and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy. Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1.”