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Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO Steps Down to Focus on New Projects

Updated: Jan 26

By: Adam Beam 2/7/21

The year is 1997, Amazon was nothing more than the startup project of Jeff Bezos. No one could’ve predicted that Amazon would become one of the largest companies in the world.

Bezos has become one the richest men in the world. With a net worth of nearly $200 billion, it’s a rags to riches story for the ages.

Now Bezos is stepping back from the company with the announcement that he would be passing the torch to Andy Jassy, Chief Executive of Amazon Web Services. Jassy is one of the few individuals that has been with the company since 1997. He is responsible for Amazon’s cloud services which now takes up 60% of the company’s operating profits.

Bezos made the announcement to employees through a memo Tuesday, stating that he wanted to dedicate more of his focus on Amazon-related projects. Those projects include the Washington Post, The Day 1 Fund, which is a charity dedicated to helping low income families and establishing preschools, the Bezos Earth Fund to help prevent climate change, Blue Origins, Amazon’s ventures into space exploration, and other “passions” as Bezos described.

However, if anyone had their eyes glued to Bezos’ sudden announcement, it was the eyes of the stock market. Tuesday marked a record high growth for the company, with an 38% increase from net sales in 2019, earning the company another $21 billion, and Amazon share price being up 1.5%.

While Bezos is stepping down as CEO of the company, Bezos isn’t stepping away from the company. Bezos will now take the position of an Executive Chairman. Amazon’s Chief Financial advisor, Brian Olsavsky, clarified in an official statement to Amazon investors, "I will reiterate Jeff Bezos is not leaving. He's going to be executive chairman, super important role, super active in the Amazon success story."

While the transition of power has already begun, Bezos will not fully step down until the start of Amazon’s third quarter which begins on July 1st.

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