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Jeff Bezos to leave as Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy, to take over in Q3

Jeff Bezos to leave as Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy, to take over in Q3

February 3, 2021: According to an announcement on Tuesday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will leave his post later this year, replacing the company’s top cloud executive, Andy Jassy. Bezos will transition to executive chairman of Amazon’s board.

Amazon was founded in 1994 by Bezos, aged 57, and has since morphed the online bookstore into a mega-retailer with global reach in different categories from gadgets to groceries to streaming.

The company had kept its succession plans in secret. Still, it was speculated that either Jassy or Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, would be Bezos’ successor at last.

 In August, Amazon announced Wilke would retire in 2021. Jassy is the  CEO in the third quarter.

Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and has led Amazon’s Web Services cloud team since its inception.

“I’m excited to announce that in Q3, I’ll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board, and Andy Jassy will become CEO,” Bezos said in a letter to employees.

The news came with an earnings report in which Amazon posted its first $100 billion quarter.

On Tuesday, Amazon shares were up about 1% in extended trading on the back of the earnings report and the C-suite news. The company’s stock has gained about 4% so far in 2021 and is up nearly 70% in the last 12 months.

Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said that the executive change was decided in consultation with Amazon’s board of directors on a media call.

Olsavsky said Bezos would remain very involved and have his fingerprints on many different parts of the company. Jassy is a visionary leader who brings his skillset, but Amazon expects a lot of continuity with the transition, He added.

Jassy will be guiding the company through antitrust concerns once he takes the reins.

Bezos said he would stay engaged in important Amazon projects and have more time to focus on the Bezos Earth Fund, his Blue Origin spaceship company, The Washington Post, and the Amazon Day 1 Fund.

Industry CEOs and Amazon competitors congratulated Bezos and Jassy on the coming transition, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella calling Jassy’s promotion “well-deserved.”

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