(Pocket-lint) - Jeff Bezos is stepping down from his role as CEO of Amazon. He will take on a new position at the company as executive chair of the Amazon board. Andy Jassy, who has served as CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS), is set to replace Bezos as Amazon's CEO, starting in Q3 2021.
The head of Amazon's cloud computing business has been the company's heir apparent for years. According to The Wall Street Journal, he was raised in Westchester County and is a rabid sports fan. In fact, he's a part-owner of the new Seattle National Hockey League franchise, the Kraken.
He reportedly aggressively pushed Amazon into new business avenues and helmed the launch of AWS, which upended the business software industry and made rivals such as IBM and Oracle scramble to pivot their offerings to cloud services. Amazon now dominates the cloud infrastructure space. As of a year ago, it held nearly half of the global market, according to the market research firm Gartner. Netflix, Kellogg’s, Airbnb, and BP all run large chunks of their computing operations on AWS.
With Jassy stepping into Amazon's CEO role, one can assume the company will continue to grow. But will it be as innovative? Some may argue Amazon could lose that "founder" spark. However, Bezos will still remain on the board, and he seems quite sure his new position will give him the freedom to be creative.
In an email announcing the change, Bezos said being CEO of Amazon is a consuming, deep responsibility, in which it's difficult to put attention on anything else. But, as executive chair of Amazon, he promises to "stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives". He thinks his new role will give him the "energy to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post" and his other passions. In a press release, Bezos added:
“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. 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.”
Bezos has served as Amazon’s CEO since he founded the company in 1994. He is one of the wealthiest people on Earth, with a net worth of nearly $180 billion.