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After 27 Years, Jeff Bezos Steps Down as CEO of Amazon to Focus on Other Passions.


In an article released by NBC only an hour ago, it was stated that Jeff Bezos will be stepping down as CEO of the Amazon company he founded 27 years ago. Bezos will assume the position of executive chair; and the chief executive of Amazon Web Services, Andy Jassy, will become the new CEO. In an e-mail memo to his employees, or Amazonians, Jeff Bezos explains that he is not retiring, but simply freeing up some more time and energy to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and other passions. He explains how since becoming a very large company, social issues have become very important to him and inspired some great initiatives such as their $15 minimum wage and the Climate Pledge. Read the memo here.

The announcement caused a little turbulence on Wall Street although in the past, major tech executives, such as Larry Ellison at Oracle and Bill Gates at Microsoft, have stepped down as CEO and remained intimately involved in their companies’ business. Even though by the Q3 he will not be the CEO, Bezos still remains one of Amazon's biggest shareholders along with his ex-wife. Andy Jassy has been an employee at Amazon almost as long as the company has been in existence joining in 1997, the same year the company went public, and is responsible for building the company's cloud services business. In a shareholder letter that Bezos wrote in 1997, it tells Wall Street that Amazon would not be trying to please the financial analysts and would instead focus on long-term growth. Jassy says this is why he can ignore the stock market ups and downs. What was then a small addition to Amazon, has grown to become a major part of its profits and a leader within the cloud computing industry. Amazon Web Services offers a suite of business solutions in the areas of computing power, database storage, content delivery, and other functionalities.

Andy Jassy is a New York native and graduate of Harvard Business School. In 2016 Jassy was featured in an article as one of the Financial Time's "Persons of the Year". There he said he is a firm believer in the Amazon principle of “having backbone” and that it is important for employees to respectfully challenge each other. James Hamilton, a vice-president and senior engineer who joined AWS from Microsoft agrees and said, “Andy is totally comfortable with contention, it is respectful contention and eventually we reach a decision based on the data, but meetings are hotly debated. There is never an opportunity when you can just sit back and observe.” Ultimately, Andy Jassy seems to be the man for the job especially when he said, “We’re trying to build a business that outlasts all of us”.

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