On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos told employees—and the world—that he’s planning on stepping down from his CEO role at Amazon, 27 years after first founding the company.
As he writes in the letter, he’s not planning on leaving the company entirely. Rather, in the third quarter of this year, Bezos says he’ll be transitioning to fill an executive role on Amazon’s board—a role where he intends to “focus [his] energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.” Replacing Bezos at the helm of the company is Andy Jassy, who joined the company in 1997, and built the insanely profitable—and popular—Amazon Web Services cloud products from the ground up. As of this past October, a little more than half of Amazon’s operating income (52%) could be attributed to AWS alone.
Bezos doesn’t necessarily go deep into the specific “Amazon initiatives” he’s planning on investing his time into, but he does mention a few side projects, like the $10 billion dollar Bezos Earth Fund, his multibillion dollar Day 1 charity, Blue Origin, and, of course, The Washington Post. “I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have,” he wrote.
Update Wednesday, May 26, 2o21: Bezos announced during Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting that July 5 would be his last day as the company’s CEO. Bezos told the virtual attendees that he chose the date because it was a “sentimental” one for him: It’s the day that he first incorporated Amazon nearly three decades ago,