Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO and become executive chairman, making way for the head of its valuable and growing cloud computing division as the successor to lead the world’s largest online retailer.
Likely putting an end to speculation the retailer might spin off the cloud division Amazon Web Services known as AWS, Bezos, 57, will hand over control to Andy Jassy. The announcement also settles the long-running question about who would replace the world’s second-richest person at the company’s helm.
Bezos is ending his role as CEO on a high note: the business he began as an internet bookseller 27 years ago is now one of the world’s most valuable companies and posted three consecutive record profits after losses in decades prior. On Tuesday, Amazon reported quarterly sales above $100 billion for the first time.
Amazon’s net sales rose to $125.6 billion as consumers turned to the world’s largest online retailer for their holiday shopping, beating analyst estimates of $119.7 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Investor response was relatively muted with Amazon shares not moving materially to the news.
Bezos commented, "Amazon is what it is because of invention. We do crazy things together and then make 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. If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. That yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive. When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention. Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition."