Amazon founder and longtime CEO Jeff Bezos will step down from the CEO job and transition to the role of executive chairman in the third quarter of 2021, the company announced Tuesday afternoon when reporting 2020 Q4 and full-year financial results.
Andy Jassy, current CEO of Amazon Web Services, will replace Bezos as the chief executive of the entire company. Amazon has two main business divisions: the Amazon.com retail site and the AWS cloud service.
“Amazon is what it is because of invention. We do crazy things together and then make them normal,” Bezos said in a statement. “If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal… Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.”
Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and helped build up Amazon’s Web Services cloud team from scratch. In recent years, AWS has been a primary profit driver for Amazon, contributing 70 percent of the company’s total earnings.
Amazon reported a record revenue of $125.6 billion in the fourth quarter, a 44 percent jump from a year ago, and $7.2 billion in net income. Full-year net sales increased 38 percent to $386.1 billion in 2020. And net income almost doubled to $21.3 billion, or $41.83 per diluted share, compared with $11.6 billion, or $23.01 per diluted share, in 2019.
Below is Bezos’ full statement:
“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. 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.”