Jeff Bezos Is Stepping Down As Amazon CEO Later This Year

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Two and a half decades after founding the company and serving at its chief executive officer ever since, Jeff Bezos has announced that he is stepping out of the role. The move will come during the third quarter of 2021, when he will transition to become executive chair of Amazon.

It has been announced that Andy Jassy will become the new CEO of Amazon at the time. Jassy currently oversees the company's booming Amazon Web Services (AWS) division. Bezos says that he will be leaving Amazon in good hands as Andy is "well known inside the company" and has been a part of the Amazon family for "almost as long as I have."

But what everyone is probably wondering is why exactly would Bezos want to step down at a time when Amazon seems to be firing on all cylinders. But as you might imagine, being the CEO of a global company like Amazon, and the scrutiny that comes with it can be punishing. This seems to be part of the reason for Bezos’ clamoring for a change of pace.

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Andy Jassy will become the next Amazon CEO

"As much as I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition. Millions of customers depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods," said Bezos in an email to Amazon employees. "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."

In his new position as executive chair, Bezos says that he will have more time to pursue his passion projects without having to deal with the daily grind. Those endeavors include the Blue Origin rocket company and The Washington Post, among others.

“If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn," Bezos continued. "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.”

The announcement was made during Amazon's fiscal Q4 earnings, with the company bringing in a record $125.56 billion in revenue ($14.09/share). Both of those figures far outpace Wall Street expectations for the quarter. Shares of AMZN are trading slightly up, a little over 1% at $3380.00, at the time of this publication.