Multi-billionaire founder and CEO of Amazon.com Inc. Jeff Bezos will step down from his CEO position, effective this summer, and give up a day to day business duties to longtime lieutenant Andrew Jassy, who has been CEO of Amazon Web Services, the cloud-computing unit of the company. Jassy, 53, started with Amazon in 1997 and is a Harvard graduate.
Bezos, 57, who started Amazon in 1994, will become the company’s executive chair, but will be devoting most of his time to his rocket company Blue Origin, his newspaper the Washington Post and his charitable organizations.
Bezos walks away with Amazon on top of the online retail world. Amazon recently posted a fourth-quarter sales number of $125 billion and the current net worth of the company skyrocketed to more than $1.7 trillion, trailing only Apple as the most valuable company in the United States.
Bezos said he will “stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but will also have time and energy I need to focus” on other projects. Blue Origin’s goal is to change space travel by building more efficient rockets which will eventually put people beyond the earth’s orbit in order to colonize other parts of the solar system.
On its website, the company says, “Blue’s part in this journey is building a road to space with our reusable launch vehicles, so our children can build the future.”
As for Jassy, he comes to the role with plenty of experience, having been Bezos’ chief of staff before launching Amazon Web Services. One of Jassy’s immediate goals is to develop the video game division of the company.