In a surprise move, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will step down

amazon Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is stepping down from his position at the online retail giant. Andy Jassy will take over the role when Bezos transitions into the role of executive chair later this year. The company made the announcement with its fourth-quarter earnings report.

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Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to leave CEO post

Jeff Bezos has been CEO of Amazon since it was founded in 1995. During his time at the helm, the company transformed from an online bookseller into a massive $1.7 trillion global e-commerce and logistics firm. In the process, Jeff Bezos became one of the wealthiest people in the world, thanks to the dramatic increase in Amazon’s stock price.

In a letter to employees, Bezos wrote that 27 years ago, the company was “only an idea, and it had no name.” At the time, many people asked him what the internet was. Amazon now employs 1.3 million people and serves hundreds of millions of customers and businesses.

Bezos said the company’s growth happened through invention, which he called “the root of our success,” adding that they’ve “done crazy things together, and then made them normal.”

Next CEO writes to employees

Jassy has been with Amazon since 1997 and is currently the CEO of its cloud division. Amazon Web Services is the company’s most profitable division. In a memo to employees, Jassy said it was difficult to overstate how much he learned from Bezos over the last 24 years.

He added that he obsesses over customers, which Business Insider noted is in line with Bezos’ mantra of “customer obsession.” Jassy also mentioned “the importance of inventing and looking around corners,” “the value of high standards and consistently speedy, outstanding delivery,” and “hiring and developing great people.”

Jassy also wrote about Amazon Web Services, which he said is still in its “very early days” with “such a small overall share of the market segments” it addresses. Kara Swisher with The New York Times tweeted the memo in its entirety:

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