Jeff Bezos to step down as Amazon chief executive
Washinhgton – Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is to step down as chief executive of the e-commerce giant that he founded in his garage nearly 30 years ago.
He will become executive chairman, a move he said would give him “time and energy” to focus on his other ventures.
Bezos, the world’s richest man, will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon’s cloud computing business.
The change will take place in the second half of 2021, the company said.
“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,” he said in an letter to Amazon staff on Tuesday,
“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.”
Bezos, 57, has led Amazon since its start as an online bookshop in 1994. The firm now employs 1.3 million people globally, and saw its already explosive growth skyrocket last year, as the pandemic prompted a surge in online shopping.
The firm reported $386 billion (£283bn) in sales in 2020, up 38 per cent from 2019. Profits almost doubled, rising to $21.3 billion.
The shake-up comes as Bezos has taken on an increasingly public profile.
He has endured a public divorce, become a target for labour and inequality activists, and got involved in other businesses, such as space exploration firm Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper. (BBC)