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Jeff Bezos assures shareholders they're in good hands at the final meeting as CEO

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May 28,2021: -On Wednesday, Jeff Bezos stewarded his last shareholder meeting as CEO of Amazon, highlighting its successes in the last year while acknowledging it has many challenges ahead.

Bezos said that he’d formally step down from his role as CEO from July 5, which is the date Amazon was incorporated before 27 years. He’ll move into the role of executive chairman and hand the reins over to a cloud-computing boss named Andy Jassy.

“He has the highest of high standards, and I guarantee Andy will never let the universe make us typical,” Bezos said in the meeting, which was virtually held for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bezos was asked if Amazon will have any trouble to innovate now that it has grown so large and diversified. Under its new leader, he acknowledged that Amazon, under its new leader Jassy will have to manage more unique bets with no guarantee of success, including its Amazon Care telehealth service and Project Kuiper satellite internet network.

Bezos says that the “Let me assure you, I can guarantee you that none of these ideas are guaranteed to work, All of them are huge investments, and they’re all risks. The way to get above-average returns is to take risks, and people won’t pay off. Our whole history as a company is about taking risks, many of which have failed and many of which will fail, but we’ll continue to take big risks.”

Votes of shareholders all 11 proposals that outsiders submitted spanned a range of topics from worker safety and hiring of Amazon practices to its use of facial recognition technology and climate change.

During a question-and-answer session at the end of the meeting, Bezos was asked to address the criticism that Amazon has increased to be too powerful.

Bezos pushed back on that assertion and argued that Amazon faces intense competition in every industry it does business in, which includes its core retail business, where the market is “thriving.”

“Consumers can purchase at dozens of large national retailers, hundreds of regional retailers, hundreds of thousands of small retailers both online and in-store,” Bezos said. “It’s a very healthy industry and far from a winner-take-all situation, and we are still a small fraction of retail,” he added.

The IT industry, another market Amazon competes in its cloud-computing services, also continues to have healthy competition, Bezos argued.

 “We face competition from well-established companies like Google, Oracle, and Microsoft, and new, incredibly successful upstarts doing a great job and growing incredibly quickly, like Snowflake and Twilio,” he said.

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