Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is stepping down as the Chief Executive Officer this year. The 57-year-old CEO, who has held the position for about 30 years, will be replaced by Andy Jassy. The Chief of Amazon’s cloud computing services will take over the position in December this year.
Through a memo sent out to employees, Bezos said he will focus on the development of new products and initiatives at Amazon. He said the transition will give him “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.”
Bezos will transition to the role of executive chair of Amazon at a time when its market value is at about $1.7 trillion, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world.
“I will reiterate [Jeff Bezos] is not leaving,” Brian Olsavsky, the chief financial officer of Amazon, told investors on Tuesday. “He’s going to be executive chairman, super important role, super active in the Amazon success story.”
Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 as an online bookstore. It has since transitioned into one of the biggest companies in the world venturing out into movie production, making sofas, owning grocery chains with plans to send satellites into space to beam the internet on to earth.
Bezos is the second richest person in the world, after being edged out of the top spot by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He has a net worth of about $197 billion.
In 2019, Bezos divorced his wife MacKenzie Scott who he married in 1993 after the national enquirer published a cover story saying the Amazon founder had an affair with a TV host. Scott got a four percent stake in the company, worth about $40 billion at the time, and has committed to giving out half of her fortunes to charities.