Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is stepping down as the head of the company he founded.
The company announced that Bezos will transition to executive chair of the Amazon board in Q3, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Andy Jassy replacing him at the helm of the company.
Bezos has been the head of Amazon since founding it as an online bookstore in 1994. He grew the company into the western world’s leading ecommerce outlet, and oversaw its evolution into a leading tech and services provider.
Thanks to Amazon, the CEO skyrocketed in wealth to become the richest man on earth with a net worth of almost US$180 billion – though he was recently surpassed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Transitioning to executive chairman will see the 57 year-old Bezos removed from the day-to-day running of Amazon, while still being involved with the company. He will dedicate more of his times to the Bezos Earth Fund charity and aerospace business Blue Origins.
Jassy meanwhile is a long-time Amazon veteran, joining the company in 1997. He was charged with developing the fledgling Web Services team in 2003, and became AWS CEO in 2016.
AWS reflects an ever-growing part of the company’s business, with it controlling roughly 40% of the cloud services market in the world. It runs the servers of Netflix, LinkedIn and the BBC, which have an approximate spend of US$19 million, US$13 million and US$9 million per month respectively.
In an email to employees, Bezos said: “Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future. We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish. We serve individuals and enterprises, and we’ve pioneered two complete industries and a whole new class of devices. We are leaders in areas as varied as machine learning and logistics, and if an Amazonian’s idea requires yet another new institutional skill, we’re flexible enough and patient enough to learn it.”