Bezos, who founded the company, will depart the role he’s held for nearly three decades. Andy Jassy, Amazon’s chief cloud executive, will transition into the role, according to the company.
In a letter to Amazon employees, Bezos said he’s excited about the transition to executive chair of the Amazon board. He said he’s focused on providing attention to new products and initiatives.
“As much as I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition. Millions of customers depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods,” Bezos said in an email posted on Amazon’s website. “Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else.
“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.”
Since being founded in 1994, Amazon morphed from an online platform to buy books into a company worth more than $1.6 trillion, selling everything from groceries and appliances to creating its own streaming service.
Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and is the lead of Amazon’s Web Services — or AWS — which is one of Amazon’s most profited arms, according to CNBC.
“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,” Bezos said. “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.
“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.”