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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to step down as CEO

By Christian Imperio Published Feb 02, 2021 9:40 pm

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down as chief executive officer of the e-commerce giant later this year, the company announced on Wednesday (Manila time).

Amazon said that the 57-year-old billionaire will transition to the role of executive chair in the third quarter of 2021. Andy Jassy, the chief executive of Amazon Web Services, will replace Bezos as the company's CEO.

“Amazon is what it is because of invention. We do crazy things together and then make them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalized recommendations, Prime’s insanely-fast shipping, Just Walk Out shopping, the Climate Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, infrastructure cloud computing, Career Choice, and much more,” Bezos said in an email to his employees.

He added: “If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. 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.”

Bezos said that he plans to focus his attention on new products and early initiatives that are being developed at Amazon once he steps down as CEO.

"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. I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have," he said.

Amazon, which started as an online book retailer in 1994, has become a global e-commerce behemoth through the years, selling various products including video games, furniture, electronics and jewelry.

According to Forbes' real-time billionaires list, Bezos is the world's richest person with an estimated net worth of $196.2 billion, followed by Elon Musk with an estimated fortune of $188.3 billion.

"Keep inventing, and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy. Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1," Bezos said.

(Image from Associated Press)