Why Did Jeff Bezos Step Down As Amazon CEO? Andy Jassy Takes Over The Company

Has Jeff Bezos left Amazon for good? Jeff Bezos relinquishes his Amazon CEO position to Andy Jassy of Web Services.

Whenever high-end business people step down from a company or someone takes their place, there’s always a bit of uncertainty associated with the transition. 

Panic sellers offloaded their Microsoft stock after Bill Gates stepped down, One Direction fans panicked after Zayn said deuces to the group, and Amazon investors must’ve felt pretty uneasy when Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO of the company.

At this point, Jeff Bezos is synonymous with the online powerhouse Amazon, but he’s changing his role in the company in a big way. As of September 2022, he’s no longer the CEO. From now on, Andy Jassy will take on that role, but Jeff will be the new executive chair and is still the company’s largest shareholder, according to CBS.

But why did Jeff step down in the first place? In addition to running Amazon, he’s been in charge of different companies over the years. Plus, he and Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, are involved in a new-age space race.

Is Jeff Bezos leaving Amazon? Nope, he’s just no longer its CEO, and his successor is Andy Jassy.

The story of Amazon and how it’s entirely changed the way we shop is a 27-year-long tale that all begins in 1995. Jeff Bezos, son of Cuban immigrants, had an idea to launch an online bookstore out of the garage from his rented home in Bellevue, Wash. It was an idea that fulfilled an immediate niche that had a broad user base of customers: students and avid readers.

is jeff bezos leaving amazon

Many people had tons of old books lying around, usually expensive textbooks. And there were tons of readers who had titles they knew they’d never read again in a million years just gathering dust in their homes. Amazon provided a place where private sellers, along with retailers, could ship books out to people all over America. It was a business plan that was brilliant: Books didn’t spoil in the mail and they were relatively easy to pack and ship out.

The company soon transmogrified into expanding its services and Amazon grew and grew and grew, but it wasn’t until Amazon Prime launched in 2005 that things really began to take off. The allure of two-day shipping on pretty much any item, or a version of it for the low-low price of $80 a year was way too enticing for some users to pass up. Then came Prime Video, Music, and a slew of other services.

But there’s another key to Amazon’s success that doesn’t get looked at enough, and that’s Amazon Web Services or AWS. If you’ve ever read a news story, browsed a product catalog, or watched an online training video, you may have noticed “AWS” somewhere in the URL. That means it’s hosted on an Amazon server. This is a little-known fact, but a whopping 40 percent of the internet’s content is hosted on AWS.

Andy Jassy was the Chief Executive of AWS. Now he’s Amazon’s CEO and Jeff Bezos will be an executive chairman.

While Jeff Bezos launched Amazon and is currently the world’s richest man (he was briefly dethroned by Elon Musk when Tesla company shares skyrocketed), Andy Jassy was put in charge of arguably Amazon’s biggest moneymaker that few people know about.

In a memo to his employees, Bezos wrote that transitioning to his new role as Executive Chair will afford him “the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.”

Interestingly enough, Amazon’s stock prices didn’t falter in light of the news; they actually rose 1.5%. The company’s valuation is also at an obscenely high $1.7 trillion valuation.

So Bezos isn’t leaving Amazon for good, in fact, Brian Olsavsky, the company’s CFO has said, “I will reiterate [Jeff Bezos] is not leaving. He’s going to be executive chairman, super important role, super active in the Amazon success story.”

Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and started Amazon’s cloud services business from scratch, which started as a modest addition to the company’s online sales department but then soon accounted for 60% of the company’s business. At its current valuation, it can be said that Jassy is responsible for generating $1.02 trillion of Amazon’s valuation. Whoa.

Why did Jeff Bezos step down?

Even though Jeff is known for Amazon, he’s got a bunch of other things to occupy his time. In a blog post to the Amazon staff, he said so. “In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives,” the post says. He goes on to say that he’ll still be involved with things having to do with Amazon, but he lists other ventures that he’s involved in that he’ll have more time for moving forward.

Jeff Bezos

In addition to his work at Amazon, Jeff owns the Day 1 Fund, which invests in non-profits in all kinds of areas from youth centers across the country to homelessness programs, and the Bezos Earth Fund which works to end climate-based issues. On top of that, he also owns The Washington Post and the space exploration company Blue Origin.

Some folks have speculated that Bezos’ decision to step down may have more to do with last year’s meeting with the House Judiciary Committee to discuss antitrust laws and as NBC News puts it, “questions about the company’s competitive practices, including accusations of pricing out competitors on its platform and using third-party seller data to inform the sale of its own products.”

“Did… did we finally bully Jeff Bezos enough? Is this why he’s stepping down as CEO?”— Taylor Jo wrote on Twitter on February 2, 2021.

“Personal opinion: Jeff Bezos ($185.7B net worth) giving up the CEO title at Amazon reduces the chance of Amazon facing an antitrust lawsuit.”— alex wrote on Twitter on February 3, 2021.

In his memo to employees, Bezos also wrote about the effect he hopes his philanthropic endeavors will have: “I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.” 

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