Jeff Bezos to step down as CEO of Amazon

Jeff+Bezos+to+step+down+as+CEO+of+Amazon

Michael McClellan, Staff Writer

It’s not every day that the CEO of a trillion-dollar company decides to step down from their position. 

But that’s what happened on February 2nd.

Jeff Bezos, the man who watched his online bookselling service grow into a $1.7 trillion global retail, has announced that he will be stepping down from the position and handing the reins over to Andy Jassy, an American businessman that has helped develop Amazon Web Services since its establishment in 2006. Although Bezos will continue to be the company’s largest shareholder, he explained that he will step down from the position to become the company’s executive chairman during the Quarter 3 transition. 

Bezos has expressed his excitement about the decision, stating that the extra time on his hands will allow him to engage in other aspects of the company and find more time for philanthropy. Specifically, Bezos states that he will “have the time and energy [he needs] to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and [his] other passions.” In his mind, stepping down from the CEO position isn’t a way of retiring, but rather a way of better distributing his time to focus on other interests that he couldn’t pursue as CEO. 

Although it may seem like Bezos will become less involved in the company with his decision, Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky reported that Bezos will continue to “have his fingerprints on a lot of areas of product development and innovation.” Olsavsky further elaborates on the changes happening to Amazon, stating that if anything, “it’s more of a restructuring.”

27 years ago, Amazon was nothing more than a seemingly insignificant idea. The internet, where Bezos would platform Amazon, was an unknown and risky business decision. Today, Amazon is one of the few trillion-dollar companies globally, recently shattering Wall Street analysts’ projection for sales and profits. Additionally, as a testament to its success, Amazon’s stock has grown 69% over the last year, causing the earnings of diluted shares to increase to $14.09. Furthermore, due to Covid-19, Amazon’s already strong sales performance boasted a 40% increase in net sale growth in North America, while international sales increased by 57%. 

In the words of Bezos, “We do crazy things together and then make them normal. If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. That yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive. When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention. Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.” 

Moving forward under Andy Jassay, Amazon looks to continue its rapid growth as a company. With the support of the people working alongside him, Jassay is, according to Tim Hubbard of University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, “a natural fit” for the position.

Sources:

Duffy, Clare. “Jeff Bezos Is Stepping down as Amazon CEO.” CNN, Cable News Network, 2 Feb. 2021, www.cnn.com/2021/02/02/tech/amazon-earnings-bezos/index.html.  

Locke, Taylor. “What Jeff Bezos Told Amazon Employees about Stepping down as CEO: ‘I’ve Never Had More Energy, and This Isn’t about Retiring’.” CNBC, CNBC, 2 Feb. 2021, www.cnbc.com/2021/02/02/what-jeff-bezos-told-employees-about-stepping-down-as-ceo.html.  

Selyukh, Alina. “Jeff Bezos To Step Down As Amazon’s CEO.” NPR, NPR, 2 Feb. 2021, www.npr.org/2021/02/02/963370968/jeff-bezos-to-step-down-as-amazons-ceo.  

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