Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down as chief executive officer and become chairman, a move he said would give him “time and energy” to focus on his other ventures.
Bezos, who has a fortune of almost $200bn, will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon’s cloud computing business.
The change will take place in the second half of 2021, the company said.
CEO and Chairman:
The CEO is the primary face of an organization that interacts with the outer world as a representative of company. The CEO typically focuses and oversees day-to-day operations and logistics. The CEO is ultimately accountable to the board of directors for the company’s performance.
The chairman of a company is the head of its board of directors. The board is responsible for protecting investors’ interests, such as the company’s profitability and stability. It usually meets several times a year to set long-term goals, review financial results, evaluate the performance of high-level managers, and vote on important strategic moves proposed by the CEO.
“Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else,” Mr Bezos said in a letter to Amazon staff on Tuesday.
“As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.”
“I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organisations can have,” he added.
The shake-up comes as Mr Bezos has developed an increasingly public profile.
He has endured a public divorce, become a target for labour and inequality activists, and poured his wealth into other businesses, such as space exploration firm Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper.
Who is Andy Jassy?
Jassy, a Harvard graduate, has been with Amazon since 1997 and helped develop Amazon Web Services, which has long been seen as the profit engine of the company.
The division provides cloud computing and storage for governments and companies including McDonald’s and Netflix.
“Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence,” Mr Bezos said.