Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced on Tuesday that he would be stepping down as the chief executive of the company he founded almost 27 years ago. In an email to employees, he said he would now focus his "'energies and attention on new products and early initiatives." The announcement came as Amazon released its financial results for its fourth quarter that ended 31 December 2020. The company recorded USD 100bn in sales for the last three months of 2020.

When is Bezos stepping down? What will his new designation be?

Bezos said he will be stepping down in the third quarter of 2021. However, he is not stepping away from Amazon. According to the email to employees, he will transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board.

How involved will Bezos be in the functioning of Amazon?

Going by the email, Bezos is "excited" about the upcoming transition. As he put it, this was not about retiring. Rather, Bezos is likely to focus on several ventures associated with the company—beyond its day-to-day functioning.

"As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have 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," he explained.

Who will be the next CEO of Amazon?

Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS) will take over. He has been a part of Amazon for more than two decades, having joined the company in 1997 as marketing manager. He had been a part of the founding team for AWS and became its CEO in 2016. "Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have," Bezos wrote on Tuesday.

What has been the reaction?

Bezos' announcement has been met with a barrage of remarks online, and it continues to be a trending topic on Twitter. Many, including Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, have wished the Amazon founder good luck.

"Congrats @JeffBezos , best wishes for Day 1 and Earth fund. Congrats @ajassy on your new role!" Pichai tweeted on Tuesday.

"Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition," Bezos said. While he had stepped back from much of the day-to-day business over the years, the pandemic had pulled him back in last spring.

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