The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is set to step down from his role as Chief Executive of the giant e-commerce company he started from his garage over 25 years ago.
After stepping down from the role, Bezos will become the Executive Chairman. He has reportedly said the move will give him more “time and energy” to focus on other ventures.
Andy Jassy, the current leader of Amazon’s cloud computing business, is set to replace the world’s richest man as the CEO.
The change is planned to take place in the second half of 2021, Amazon has announced.
Mr Bezos sent a letter to Amazon staff on Tuesday, in which he said: “Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to focus on anything else.”
Amazon started as an online bookshop in 1994 and has been led by Bezos throughout that time. The firm is now one of the biggest global conglomerates, employing over 1.3 million staff and reporting over $386bn (£283bn) in sales in the course of 2020. This has made Mr Bezos the richest man in the world, amassing over $196 billion according to the Forbes’ list of billionaires.
Announcing the plans, Mr Bezos said he would continue with the company, but would only focus on new products and initiatives.
This decision to hand over day-to-day operations of the company has come as a surprise to many. However, shareholders seem unfazed, as the company’s share price has shown little change in after-hours trading.
Mr Bezos has said that Mr Jassy has his “full confidence” in the role of CEO and that “he will be an outstanding leader”.
The future of the company will see significant change during 2021, but its current rapid rate of growth shows no signs of slowing down, even without its original founder in charge.