Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is stepping down from his role as the chief executive of the mega-corporation. He announced that he will transition to a new role as executive chair on the Board of Directors. Andy Jassy, the former CEO of Amazon Web Services and a 23-year-plus veteran, will take over as CEO of Amazon going forward.
“In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence,” Bezos said.
Bezos also reflected on his life and career in his email to staffers, which was also published online.
“This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name. The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, ‘What’s the internet?’ Blessedly, I haven’t had to explain that in a long while,” Bezos said. “Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognized as one of the most successful companies in the world.”
Bezos said that it was invention that was Amazon’s root of success.
“We’ve done crazy things together, and then made 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,” he said. “If you get it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. And that yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive.”
Bezos said it is difficult and consuming to be the CEO of Amazon, and his role as chief executive limited what he was able to do outside of that. In his new role on the board, Bezos said he will remain “engaged” in Amazon’s major initiatives, but he won’t be as busy with day-to-day items. With that extra time, Bezos said he will focus more on his charitable campaigns, along with his other properties such as The Washington Post and his rocket company, Blue Origin.
“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 couldn’t be better positioned for the future. We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish. We serve individuals and enterprises, and we’ve pioneered two complete industries and a whole new class of devices. We are leaders in areas as varied as machine learning and logistics, and if an Amazonian’s idea requires yet another new institutional skill, we’re flexible enough and patient enough to learn it.”
This change comes not long after a Bloomberg report shone a light on the struggles that Amazon has had to get its gaming efforts off the ground. Amazon continues to develop games, including a new Lord of the Rings MMO made by former Destiny and Planetside developers.