Bezos to step down as Amazon’s CEO

Jeff Bezos-Amazon

Amazon.com Inc revealed on Tuesday that founder Jeff Bezos would step down as CEO and become executive chairman.

The announcement was made asthe company reported its third consecutive record profit and quarterly sales above $100 billion for the first time.

The transition, slated for the third quarter, will make current cloud computing chief Andy Jassy Amazon’s next chief executive officer.

Net sales rose to $125.56 billion as consumers turned to the world’s largest online retailer for holiday shopping, beating analyst estimates of $119.7 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Bezos, who started the company 27 years ago as an internet bookseller, said in a note to employees posted on Amazon’s website, “As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.”

Amazon shares were up less than 1% in after-hours trading.

Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and has a MBA from Harvard Business School, according to the company’s website. He founded Amazon Web Services (AWS) and grew it to a cloud platform used by millions, the company said.

Tom Johnson, chief transformation officer at Mindshare Worldwide, said Jassy’s promotion underscored the importance of web services to Amazon’s future.

“Jassy’s background in steering AWS shows just how top of mind those services are to Amazon’s business strategy. It’ll be interesting to see how that affects their strategy and balancing that priority with a growing ad business and the commerce behemoth,” he said

Jassy’s AWS, traditionally a bright spot, fell slightly short of expectations. While the cloud computing division announced deals in the quarter with ViacomCBS, the BMW Group and others, it posted revenue of $12.7 billion, short of the $12.8 billion analysts had estimated.

Amazon said it was not announcing a replacement for Jassy at this time.

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