Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, announced on Tuesday that he would be relinquishing his role to Andy Jassy, the company’s top cloud executive. Bezos will become the new executive chairman of the board and will turn his focus to the Bezos Earth Fund, a spaceship company. The startling news was announced the same time that Amazon recorded its first ever $100 billion quarter.
Bezos founded the company in 1994 as a one-time online bookstore. He then proceeded to turn the company into a trillion-dollar e-commerce empire with a global reach few other companies have. Amazon offers a variety of different products and has become one of the most popular search engines on the internet. Under Bezos’ leadership, the company is now worth more than $1.6 trillion.
Andy Jassy joined the company back in 1997, leading the entire AWS (Amazon Web Services) division since its creation. This division drives much of Amazon’s profit and is at the forefront of the cloud computing industry. According to Bezos, “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.”
As of October, just over half of Amazon’s operating income was directly attributed to the AWS division. The division’s revenues grew an outstanding 28% in the fourth quarter. The company’s stock price has increased around 4% year to date in 2021 and is up 70% in the past year. On Tuesday, shares were up around 1% due to the release of the earnings report and the Bezos-Jassy news.
Jassy will take the reins in the third quarter of 2021. Their CFO, Brian Olsavsky, said that the former AWS head is a visionary leader who will lead the company well. However, Bezos will still oversee much of the company and help with Amazon’s continuity. It is then that he will have to lead the company through their antitrust concerns. The antitrust concerns are in relation to an ongoing investigation into the big tech companies involving Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple over possible monopoly power.
A member of the House Judiciary Committee has already announced the intention of questioning Jassy once he takes the throne. This is shaping up to be the biggest challenge the new CEO will face in his new position of power and will be a foreshadowing of his ability to lead the tech giant.