After 27 years of running the e-commerce giant, Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO of Amazon.com, CNBC reported. The entrepreneur is handing over the CEO role to Amazon's top cloud executive, Andy Jassy, while Bezos will transition to executive chairman of the company's board in this year's third quarter. Jassy has been with Amazon since 1997, and has led its Web Services cloud team since its inception.
Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 as an online bookstore, but over time it morphed into a global e-commerce mega-retailer. In January 2020, Amazon exceeded a $1 trillion market cap, and currently its worth more than $1.6 trillion.
In a letter to employees, Bezos explained that in his new role as executive chairman he will focus on "new products and early initiatives." He also shared he has full confidence in Jassy as the company's future CEO.
CNBC reported that Brian Olsavsky, Amazon's CFO, explained on a media call that the change was decided in deliberation with Amazon's board of directors. He also shared that Bezos will remain very involved with Amazon's day-to-day operations, including many different parts of the company.
Total Retail's Take: Jassy has his work cut out for him. One of his first orders of business will be to guide Amazon through antitrust concerns. The retailer is facing antitrust complaints in the European Union, and was a part of a 16-month investigation into big tech companies that concluded that Amazon had monopoly power. It's unclear why Bezos decided to step down as CEO now, but it's not unusual for CEOs to eventually transition to an executive chairman role. Currently, it seems that not much will change for Amazon leadership, and Bezos will still have great influence over the company's future direction.
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Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.