Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is resigning from the head of the company he turned into an online shopping empire, a CEO position he’s held for almost 30 years.
This fall, he will pass the mantle to Andy Jassy, who is currently in charge of Amazon’s cloud-computing business. The 57-year-old multi-billionaire will then take up a position as the company’s executive chair.
Bezos outlined his future plans in a blog post to employees, where he said that he was “excited about this transition.”
“I’m excited to announce that this Q3 I’ll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board and Andy Jassy will become CEO. In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence,” the soon-to-be former CEO wrote.
Bezos elaborated that he intends to concentrate on new products and early enterprises being established by Amazon. He said he will have more time for the company’s side projects, such as his space exploration company Blue Origin, his far-left newspaper The Washington Post, as well as his philanthropic organizations.
“I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring,” Bezos wrote in his blog. “I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have….I don’t know of another company with an invention track record as good as Amazon’s, and I believe we are at our most inventive right now. I hope you are as proud of our inventiveness as I am. I think you should be.”
Since 1995, Amazon has been a trailblazer for a business model of fast and free shipping that earned the company millions of shoppers who can use the site to shop for nearly everything. With Bezos steering the way, Amazon also introduced the first e-reader that was accepted on the mass market, as well as the company’s Echo listening device, which put voice assistants in a large majority of American households.
From an early age, Bezos was tinkering with computers and involved in building things such as the alarms he engineered in his parents’ house. He received a degree in electrical engineering and computer science at Princeton University and moved on to work at various Wall Street companies.
Bezos left his job at D.E. Shaw to build an online retail business, despite having his doubts about what to sell. Bezos decided to put together an online bookstore that would interest consumers. Bezos and his spouse, MacKenzie Bezos, who first met each other at D.E. Shaw before getting married in 1993, resettled in Seattle due to the city’s multitude of talented tech professionals and proximity to a large nearby book distributor in Roseburg, Ore.
During the drive, Jeff Bezos came up with a business plan that would eventually become the powerhouse that is Amazon.com. After receiving investments from his parents and a few friends, Amazon started working out of his garage in Seattle on July 16, 1995.
After the company ballooned in size, Bezos became one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Amazon is currently one of the only tech giants to have their founder as the CEO.
The co-founde’s of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, stepped down from their executive positions in parent company Alphabet in 2019. Larry Ellison resigned as CEO of Oracle in 2014. Bill Gates held his position at Microsoft until 2000, remaining in a day-to-day role at the software giant until 2008 and holding a role as its chairman until 2014. Gates walked away from the board completely in 2020 to concentrate on his philanthropy.