Jeff Bezos Steps Down as Amazon CEO

Jeff Bezos Steps Down as Amazon CEO

By Sam Baghal, International News Editor

Jeff Bezos has recently announced that he will be stepping down as Amazon CEO later this year and will be giving the position over to the company’s top cloud executive, Andy Jassy.

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 and has since completely reinvented it, converting the company from an online bookstore to a mega-retailer that is now worth more than $1.6 trillion. 

Under his leadership, the company has built one of the most impressive customer service, inventory, and shipping empires in the world. 

In recent years, Amazon has reported record profit due to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has made the public much more reliant on e-commerce websites in replacement of in-person department stores. 

The expanding growth of the company has consequently provoked scrutiny from lawmakers, bringing into question whether or not Amazon is abusing its power. 

Having to face the US House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee in July, Bezos was accused of monopolizing the online marketplace by allowing smaller vendors to sell on his site.

Thus, there are many speculations that this uptick of government investigations is what encouraged Bezos to leave on such a high note. 

“The timing of it all just doesn’t make much sense,” said Senior Jamie Hamalainen. “It seems strange that Bezos would want to leave now when Amazon is at its peak profitability. Government pressure must have something to do with this decision.”

Regardless of the suspicions surrounding his motives, Bezos insisted in a statement last Tuesday that he is stepping down and becoming an executive chairman solely to dedicate more time toward other projects such as the Bezos Earth Fund, his Blue Origin spaceship company, and The Washington Post. While he will still be very involved in the company, Jassy will be responsible for overseeing the more pertinent activities as chief executive.

“In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives,” said Bezos. “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.”

Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and has led Amazon’s Web Services cloud team since its creation. AWS revenue actually makes up one of the largest percentages of Amazon’s profit.

Considering his experience with the company and time spent shadowing Bezos, Jassy seems to be well-prepared for the position. Bezos expressed his confidence in Jassy in his statement, insisting that since “Amazon is at its most inventive ever…it is an optimal time for this transition.”