Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Will Step Down, But Not Away
Feb 04 2021
Incoming Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy asked employees to "stay giddied up" in a memo sent on Tuesday night after Jeff Bezos announced he would be stepping down as CEO of the American multinational technology company.
Bezos's stake gives him a personal fortune worth an estimated $196 billion, slightly more than Elon Musk, who had briefly captured the title of world's wealthiest person.
"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 don't know of another company with an invention track record as good as Amazon's, and I believe we are at our most inventive right now. I'm super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have", he added. "He will also still be around to guide the company and ensure that it does not lose its innovative edge", wrote Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData.
"If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal". He cited "criticality of hiring and developing great people" and "how to obsess over customers" among the things he had had learned from Jeff Bezos.
Jassy has been identified previously as the likely successor to Bezos, after leading Amazon Web Services (AWS) to the success it now enjoys as a leader in the cloud computing space. It is now regarded as the largest online marketplace and one of the most valuable companies in the world. Amazon'sstock edged up slightly in Tuesday's extended trading - not something that tends to happen when Wall Street is anxious about a management shake-up. Amazon officials are slated to address investors on its quarterly earnings call later on Tuesday.
For the full year 2020, net sales increased 38% to $386.1 billion, compared with $280.5 billion in 2019. All told, 2020 was the most profitable year in Amazon's history. Operating income in the same period is projected at $3 billion to $6.5 billion, assuming the roughly $2 billion of costs related to Covid-19. Amazonalso pushed its annual Prime Day shopping bonanza to October this year, providing another boost for its Q4 sales.
After stepping further away from day-to-day operations at Amazon, Bezos found himself pulled back in due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the logistical complications that arose as a result, according to the New York Times. The company faces multiple antitrust lawsuits, including one that alleges it colluded with major US book publishers to fix e-book prices. In the previous year alone, it bought a company developing self-driving taxis; launched an online pharmacy selling inhalers and insulin; and won government approval to put more than 3,200 satellites into space to beam internet service to Earth.