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Jeff Bezos to Step Down as Amazon CEO, AWS Chief Andy Jassy to Succeed in Top Role

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced today that he will step down from the top role to make way for Andy Jassy, and will switch over as executive chairman of Amazon's board of directors. (Photo: AFP)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced today that he will step down from the top role to make way for Andy Jassy, and will switch over as executive chairman of Amazon's board of directors. (Photo: AFP)

Amazon founder and current CEO Jeff Bezos stated in a letter to his employees that he has "full confidence" in Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy to lead the company forward, while Bezos himself will focus more on the Bezos Earth Fund, the Amazon Day 1 Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post and more.

Jeff Bezos, the founder and erstwhile chief executive officer of Amazon, has announced that starting Q3 2021, he will be renouncing his role at the helm of Amazon. Succeeding him into the future of the global technology giant will be Andy Jassy, the present chief of Amazon Web Services, and an Amazon employee for almost 24 years now. The announcement comes as Amazon stands as one of the most valuable companies in the world with a gross valuation of around $1.6 trillion, even as it is riddled by antitrust and anti-competitive practices lawsuits in its home turf USA, as well as in other parts of the world. After stepping down as CEO, Bezos will shift into the role of being the executive chairman of Amazon's board of directors.

In his address to Amazon's 1.3 million employees around the world, Bezos expressed confidence in Jassy's ability to take over the reins of the company. While the times are not particularly turbulent for Amazon, Jassy will be the top executive from Amazon to be held accountable and responsible by lawmakers in the USA, and some have already expressed their intention of conversing with Jassy on pressing matters such as the numerous antitrust lawsuits that Amazon, as well as fellow Big Tech companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google face today. Bezos also highlighted the number of new products and milestones that Amazon has touched during his 27-year tenure as the chief of Amazon -- as it went from being an online bookstore in the early days of the internet, to the global giant that it is today.

Speaking about his continued role in the Amazon ecosystem, Bezos wrote, "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." Concluding his address, Bezos further added, "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."

At the start of 2021, Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk surpassed Bezos as the richest man in the world. Musk's $185 billion valuated wealth stands marginally above Bezos, who is the second richest man in the world with $184 billion. Bezos' Blue Origin is incidentally one of the biggest competitors of Musk's private space company SpaceX, and recently, the two have been at either ends of a battle to deploy private satellites around Earth to beam affordable and fast internet to various countries. While Amazon claimed that SpaceX is attempting to sabotage the prospect of other companies in this sector by selecting a lower Earth orbit to deploy their satellites in, Musk shot back by stating that his company has already received necessary regulatory approvals for the move, and that "it does not serve the public to hamstring Starlink today for an Amazon satellite system that is at best several years away from operation."

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Bezos' Amazon has also grown into one of the most important companies in India's technology sector, and holds a strong presence in the Indian e-commerce space as well. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the reshuffle impacts Amazon, which now joins the likes of Microsoft and Google in the list of big tech companies today that have transitioned on to greater heights, even without their founders as the chief executives.