Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest man has officially stepped down as the CEO of e-commerce giant, Amazon, after a 27-year run. Bezos is handing over the role to the chief of Amazon Web Services, Andy Jassy, in order to focus on “new products and early initiatives”.
Andy Jassy joined the company in 1997 and has led its cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), since 2003. AWS has been a huge success for the company and has contributed roughly 42% of Amazon’s total profits. AWS has been instrumental in moving the company from online commerce into enterprise technology.
Since Bezos’s tenure, Amazon has become one of the most valuable public companies in the world, with a market capitalization of $1.8 trillion. Bezos is worth nearly $202 billion making him the richest person on earth. He will stay on as Amazon’s executive chairman but won’t be as involved with the company as he was.
Bezos will also retain just over 10% of all of Amazon’s shares, making him the single largest shareholder and securing his ability to shape the decisions of the new CEO.
Nearly 90% of his fortune lies in his 10% stake in Amazon, Forbes estimates. The rest is spread between his investment in rocket company, Blue Origin, various homes around the country, the Washington Post newspaper, and a host of investments in at least two dozen tech and biotech companies.
What you should know as Bezos steps down
- The billionaire plans to focus on his other interests which include his charity organizations – the Bezos Day One Fund and the Bezos Earth Fund. He is also going to focus on his Aerospace company, Blue Origin.
- Blue Origin was founded with the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit the earth. In order to preserve the earth, Blue Origin believes that humanity will need to expand, explore, find new energy and material resources, and move industries that stress earth into space.
- Earlier this year, the rocket company auctioned off a passenger seat on the New Shepard. The winner of the auction, 82-year-old Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk paid $28 million and will be flying into space with Jeff Bezos and his brother, Mark on July 20, which is the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
- Named after Mercury astronaut, Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space, New Shepard is Blue Origin’s reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads into space.
- The Amazon founder also said he would be investing more of his time in fighting climate change and overseeing The Washington Post, the newspaper company he owns.