Jeff Bezos to step down as Amazon CEO this year

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SEATTLE – Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down as chief executive later this year. He will be replaced by Andy Jassy in the third quarter.

Bezos has been CEO of the company since its founding in 1995. He witnessed the growth of Amazon from an online bookseller into a $1.7 trillion global retail and logistics behemoth. He is one of the richest persons of the world.

The upcoming CEO, Jassy, has worked for Amazon since 1997 and currently serving as CEO of the cloud business, Amazon Web Services.

Bezos in a letter to the employees writes, “This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name”.

“The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, ‘What’s the internet?’ … Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognized as one of the most successful companies in the world,” he added.

“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,” said Jeff Bezos.

“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.”

The news of Bezos leaving the charge coincides with Amazon’s fourth-quarter earnings report.

The company’s net sales increased 44% to $125.6 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $87.4 billion in fourth quarter 2019. Excluding the $1.7 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 42% compared with fourth quarter 2019.

Furthermore, operating income increased to $6.9 billion during the said period, compared with operating income of $3.9 billion in fourth quarter 2019.

The net income increased to $7.2 billion in the fourth quarter, or $14.09 per diluted share, compared with net income of $3.3 billion, or $6.47 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2019.

The net sales increased 38% to $386.1 billion, compared with $280.5 billion in 2019. Excluding the $1.4 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year, net sales increased 37% compared with 2019.