Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will relinquish his role as the retail behemoth’s chief executive this summer, passing the baton to Andy Jassy, the current chief of Amazon’s hugely profitable cloud computing division. Bezos, who in recent years had already “stepped back from much of the day-to-day business,” will take on the role of executive chairman once Jassy transitions into the CEO role. “Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition,” Bezos told employees in a statement reflecting on his 27 years at the helm.
Amazon Web Services is having a day in the sun. If you’re at all involved in the enterprise technology market, this is not news. In fact, it’s overkill. The market gets it.
But Amazon, king of retail, the supply chain and in-home voice assistants (among other things), named a new CEO Tuesday, choosing its head of cloud to take the reins. Andy Jassy, the long-time leader of AWS, will now turn his full attention to a larger market.
It’s a sign of just how serious Amazon is about its enterprise business. Afterall, year after year it has buoyed the company’s operating income. This year, AWS accounted for 59% of Amazon’s total operating income.
What’s next for AWS? Leadership is unclear but continued market dominance is a sure thing. Tell me, what do you think is next for AWS with Jassy taking over as Amazon’s CEO?
I’d like to congratulate Andy Jassy as he transitions into a new role as CEO of Amazon. He is so well qualified to take the reins, and he will do a great job navigating the ever-changing retail landscape. I’d also be remiss not to wish Jeff Bezos all the best as he embarks on a new phase of his life and career. I don’t think any of us could have imagined the degree of success and change that he led at Amazon. I look forward to seeing how Andy continues that charge.
Throughout my career, I’ve watched and learned as Jeff Bezos has tested concepts and grown Amazon into a behemoth. I’m in awe of everything he’s created and how he’s changed the world. But Jeff Bezos stepping down marks the beginning of what I expect to see as a larger generational shift in leadership. The next generation of CEOs is coming up at a time when business has been turned on its head. And it’s not coincidental with the macro. Covid, politics, race, markets – it’s a new world. It’s now up to every CEO to manage stakeholders well beyond how we used to think about a business’ orbit. The next few years ushering this new generation of leadership are going to be fascinating […].
Although Jeff Bezos announced on Tuesday that he will step down as Amazon CEO and transition to executive chair of the company’s board, he has no plans of retiring.
“Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming,” Bezos wrote in a letter to employees announcing his role change. “When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else.”
As executive chair, Bezos said he plans to “stay engaged in Amazon initiatives,” but also put energy into his “other passions,” like “the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post,” to name a few.
“As much as I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition,” he said.
Executive Asia, Feb 3, 2021