Last Updated: January 18, 2022
Twenty-seven years after founding Amazon, Jeff Bezos is handing over the reins of his $1.77-trillion company. July 5 marks the date when Bezos steps down as CEO of Amazon and gets replaced by Andy Jassy, the current CEO of Amazon Web Services. The decision was announced as a part of Amazon’s fourth-quarter earnings report on February 2, and it’s finally coming into effect.
Although he won’t be CEO anymore, Bezos will remain an integral part of Amazon as the Executive Chair of the Board. The reason behind his decision to abandon the CEO position is to be able to dedicate more time to his other ventures. These ventures include the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and the Bezos Day 1 Fund.
Blue Origin is Bezos’s spaceship company that made headlines a while ago, when it was announced that Jeff Bezos, with his brother Mark, will be taking a trip to space on the first human flight of New Shepard—a rocket system developed by the company.
How Jeff Bezos Made Amazon Great
Bezos is abandoning the CEO position with $197 billion, which makes up the majority of his $201.8 billion fortune. However, the road to that amount has been long and had humble beginnings.
Amazon’s story started in Bezos’s garage in Bellevue, Washington in 1994 as an online store for books. Over the years, Amazon expanded its offering to include electronics, furniture, food, toys, clothes, software, etc. 2015 marked a huge milestone for the company when it passed Walmart to become the most valuable retailer in the US.
In 2018, Amazon generated a revenue of $62.9 billion, making multiple times the amount of profit of competing companies such as Walmart, Apple, and The Home Depot. During its existence, Amazon has developed many products and services, which have contributed to its fast expansion and success. These include Amazon Prime, Amazon Fresh, Alexa, Kindle, Echo, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Publishing, Amazon Studios, etc. All these ventures are the reason why Amazon is considered the world’s most valuable brand.
Although the ecommerce giant has undoubtedly been extremely successful, it has also been involved in quite a few controversies. Amazon has been accused of shady practices, including monopolization and anti-competitive behavior, providing surveillance tools to law enforcement, having bad working conditions, adverse environmental impact, and opposing unionization, to name just a few.
Not a lot is expected to change with Bezos not in the CEO position anymore. Jassy has earned Bezos’s trust by running Amazon Web Services—Amazon’s most reliable source of profit—since 2003. With Amazon’s market dominance raising some concerns among regulators, it will be up to Jassy to deal with the outcome and keep the company going. At the same time, Bezos, free of his CEO obligations, is set to explore space on July 20.