Jeff Bezos officially steps down as Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy takes over

After months of anticipation, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has finally stepped down from his position as the company’s chief executive to focus on “new products and early initiatives.” 

The richest man in the world, with a record total net worth of $203 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is finally taking time away from the main Amazon business to focus on abandoned personal projects. The top of the list for Bezos is the launch of his private spaceflight company Blue Origin which is slated for July 20. He will be joined by his brother Mark, who anonymously paid $28 million for the seat, and 82-year-old Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk.

Bezos also said he will invest more of his time and wealth into advocating for environmental sustainability and overseeing the Washington Post, a newspaper company he owns.

The former Amazon CEO is not completely taking his hands off the company as he's transitioned into the position of executive chair. This transition will allow Bezos to still influence decision-making in the company. This isn’t the first time such a transition is happening. It happened when Bill Gates left Microsoft. This strategic method has since been called “the apprenticeship model of corporate succession.”

To some Amazon employees, it doesn’t seem like Bezos is out of the picture at all. The company’s CFO Brian Olsavsky describes the whole event as a “restructuring of who’s doing what”, he told reporters.

Investor director at AJ Bell, Russ Mould explained that stepping down as CEO doesn’t insinuate that Bezos is exiting the company. The transition to the role of the executive chair is to oversee the activities of the chief executive and provide strategic guidance and counsel as the need arises.

“He is also a major shareholder which gives him considerable influence on how the business is run.”

The chief executive transition from Bezos to Andy Jassy may likely not change much at the company as Jassy has been involved in Amazon’s corporate culture for years. He played a role in devising the core leadership tenets for employees.

In the early 2000s, Jassy served as Bezos’s “shadow”, or “brain double”, making him an extra set of eyes and ears for Bezos in meetings, according to Amazon CEO’s former executive assistant, Ann Hiat. 

Jassy joined the company after graduating from Harvard Business School in 1997. In 2003, he was appointed to lead the AWS team and has served as its leader since then. Under his leadership, AWS grew so much that it controlled a third of the total cloud computing market in 2020, according to Synergy Research. 

As the company has been handed over to Jassy as the new chief executive, there are many expectations from him. Bezos has built Amazon into a highly ambitious company that has grown beyond e-commerce and cloud computing. Amazon is one company that is willing to make big bets and take risks to explore new business areas.  

Be the first to comment!

You must login to comment

Related Posts