A mobile phone displaying the black and orange Amazon logo on a white screen.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, has announced that he will be stepping down from his role of CEO in the third quarter of 2021. Bezos will be taking up the position of Executive Chair of the company’s Board of Directors. Throughout recent years, Bezos has stepped back from the day-to-day running of Amazon to pay more attention to his other interests, including space exploration and his ownership of the Washington Post. His departure as CEO was, however, unexpected. It has recently been announced that Bezos will be replaced as CEO by Andy Jassy, the current chair of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Jassy, 52, has long been seen as Bezos’ heir apparent, vying with Jeff Wilke who ran Amazon’s retail business until he announced his plans to retire last year. AWS provides cloud computing and storage infrastructure for companies and businesses across the globe on a colossal scale. The likes of McDonald’s and Netflix rely on Amazon Web Services for their website hosting services. As such, AWS quickly became an integral branch of Amazon, accounting for 10% of the company’s sales in the last quarter and 52% of the company’s profits.

Looking to the Future...

Jassy will take over the reins from Bezos just as IT spending in cloud technology is expected to ramp up- Amazon’s sky-high sales figures are expected to continue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Remote working is expected to become a permanent fixture in many people’s day-to-day working lives, entrenching the importance of flexibility and scalability offered by the cloud.

Tim Hubbard, assistant Professor of Management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business has said, ‘Andy Jassy stepping into the CEO role at Amazon is a natural fit. Amazon Web Services is a powerhouse within the company, driving a lot of profitability. […] This transition may free up Bezos to focus on other ideas that he’s been accumulating over the years. In one way, I think it might be freeing for him to have the space to personally innovate again, without having to manage the rest of the company.”

Sources: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/02/jeff-bezos-amazon-ceo-resigns-steps-down