SEATTLE— Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down from his role as chief executive later this year and transition to the role of executive chair, the company reported Tuesday. He will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who currently heads the company’s cloud business, Amazon Web Services.
Bezos has been Amazon’s CEO since its founding in 1995. He oversaw its growth from an online bookseller into a $1.7 trillion global retail and logistics giant, which has also made Bezos into one of the world’s richest people.
The news came as part of Amazon’s fourth-quarter earnings report. The company beat Wall Street analysts’ projections for both sales and profit, capping a banner year as the pandemic boosted both its retail and cloud businesses.
“Amazon is what it is because of invention. We do crazy things together and then make them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalized recommendations, Prime’s insanely-fast shipping, Just Walk Out shopping, the Climate Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, infrastructure cloud computing, Career Choice, and much more,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “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.”