Andy Jassy will succeed Amazon founder as CEO
SEATTLE — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down from his role as chief executive later this year and transition to the role of executive chair, the company reported Tuesday. He will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who currently heads the company’s cloud business, Amazon Web Services.
Bezos has been Amazon’s CEO since its founding in 1995. He oversaw its growth from an online bookseller into a $1.7 trillion global retail and logistics giant, which has also made Bezos into one of the world’s richest people.
The news came as part of Amazon’s fourth-quarter earnings report. The company beat Wall Street analysts’ projections for both sales and profit, capping a banner year as the pandemic boosted both its retail and cloud businesses.
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. Operating income increased to $22.9 billion, compared with operating income of $14.5 billion in 2019.
Net income increased to $21.3 billion, or $41.83 per diluted share, compared with net income of $11.6 billion, or $23.01 per diluted share, in 2019.
“Amazon is what it is because of invention,” Bezos said in a statement. “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.
“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.”