Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos announced today that he plans to resign as CEO this year. In the third quarter, he will assume the post of executive chairman of Amazon’s board of directors, when Andy Jassy will take over as CEO. Jassy has been the CEO of Amazon Web Services since April 2016 and founded the company in 2003.
“In the post of executive chairman, I intend to focus my energy and energy on new products and early plans,” Bezos wrote in a letter to Amazon employees. “Andy is well known within the company and works at Amazon almost like me.” From this letter, it sounds like Bezos intends to use his time outside of Amazon’s daily operations to focus on other plans, including “First Sky Fund, Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, Washington Post, and other hobbies of mine.” Bezos said that despite resigning from the top Amazon position, “this is not about retirement”, so it seems that we can be expected that he will continue to serve as an executive in the company.
Amazon’s incoming CEO Andy Jassy is not as well-known as Bezos, but as the leader of AWS, he is already responsible for Amazon’s most important business.
Indeed, the company’s earnings statement released at the same time as the CEO’s transition message shows that AWS earned $13.5 billion in profits for the company in 2020, an increase of 47% over 2019. This $13.5 billion accounted for more than half of Amazon’s total profit of $21.3 billion in 2020.
In recent years, Bezos has been an increasingly controversial figure because his company has been criticized in every way. Chief among these is the treatment of Amazon employees at the company’s distribution centers, which has been intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are also many antitrust issues, which is not surprising for a large company that plays a leading role in so many markets. User privacy, especially the privacy surrounding Amazon Ring’s security products, has also been censored. After a series of controversies, the company suspended police use of its facial recognition software in mid-2020.
However, under the leadership of Bezos, Amazon has also become one of the most successful companies in the world, from an online bookstore to the most important Internet retailer.
Amazon’s video service started slowly and now has a large amount of important original content-although not as dominant as Netflix, it is still one of the popular online video destinations.
Many Amazon hardware products have also had a significant impact. Kindle quickly became the de facto digital book reader, and the company basically launched the smart speaker market through Echo and Alexa digital assistants.
Andy Jassy will inherit these successes and challenges. His main concern may be antitrust investigations of Amazon in the United States and abroad. Another factor that may cause widespread concern is how the company responds to its environmental impact.
Although Amazon started to work on a more environmentally friendly policy in 2020, in 2019, its employees are facing tremendous pressure due to inaction in response to climate change.