Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on Tuesday said he has decided to step down as the e-commerce platform’s chief executive, a decision he said would give him the “time and energy” needed to focus on his other ventures.
“I’m excited to announce that this Q3 I’ll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board and Andy Jassy will become CEO,” Bezos wrote in a letter to employees. “In the Exec 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.”
Jassy, a graduate from Harvard University and a part of the company since 1997, currently heads Amazon’s cloud computing business.
Bezos said he was excited about the transition, adding that millions of employees depend on the company for their livelihoods. “Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming,” Bezos’ letter read. “When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else. 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.”
The 57-year-old, whose net worth is estimated to be $185.7 billion, has headed Amazon since its inception as an online bookstore in 1994. The company, which has reported $386 billion in sales in 2020, currently employs 1.3 million people across the world.
Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said that Bezos was not leaving but just “getting a new job”, reported BBC. “The board is super active and important in Amazon’s success story,” he said.