Andy Jassy Takes Over As Amazon CEO

Online retail giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) officially has a new chief executive officer (CEO).

Jeff Bezos, who has served as the CEO of Amazon since founding the company 27 years ago, has officially stepped down from the role. Andy Jassy is now listed as the company’s CEO on its investor relations website, after previously running Amazon Web Services since 2003.

Bezos is now listed as Amazon’s Executive Chair. The leadership change is an important moment for Amazon, which, until now, has had the same CEO for the entirety of its existence.

Under Bezos’ leadership, the company survived the dot-com bubble bursting in the late 1990s to become one of the world’s most prominent technology companies.

Bezos’ successor, Andy Jassy, joined the company shortly after graduating from Harvard Business School in 1997, and has led AWS since the team was founded in 2003. He was officially named the division’s CEO in 2016. At the end of 2020, AWS controlled around a third of the total cloud computing market.

Bezos is handing Jassy a company with ambitions extending far beyond electronic books. The e-commerce and cloud computing giant is also a company that’s willing to make big bets on new areas of business. Amazon is a sizable player in consumer technology thanks to its range of Kindle, Echo, Ring, and Eero devices, as well as general consumer goods under its Amazon Basics label.

Amazon also has an expanding presence in physical retail after its acquisition of Whole Foods, and the launch of its own Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh stores. And when it comes to entertainment, it recently made its biggest acquisition ever with the purchase of film and TV company MGM (NYSE:MGM) for $8.45 billion U.S.

Amazon’s size and practices have attracted scrutiny from antitrust regulators around the world. Bezos was one of the technology CEOs asked to testify in front of Congress as part of its antitrust investigation last year. Meanwhile, in Europe, Amazon was recently accused of misusing marketplace data as the European Union announced a second antitrust investigation into the company.

As the world’s richest man, Bezos won’t be fading into obscurity anytime soon. He’s staying on as Amazon’s executive chair, where he’s said he will "stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives," and has also said he plans to dedicate more time and energy to other initiatives such as the Day One Fund and Bezos Earth Fund foundations, The Washington Post newspaper, and his Blue Origin space company.

In the immediate future, Bezos will fly to the edge of space onboard a rocket built by Blue Origin on July 20. The now-former Amazon CEO will be joined by his brother, Mark Bezos, aboard the ship New Shepard’s first crewed mission.