Jeff Bezos Is Stepping Down as Amazon CEO

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, Jeff Bezos announced that he will transition to the role of executive chair later this year. Read his email to Amazon employees below.

By McKenna Aiello Feb 02, 2021 9:54 PMTags
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Jeff Bezos is stepping down from his post at Amazon. 

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, founder and CEO of the technology company said he will transition to the role of executive chair later this year. Chief executive of Amazon Web Services Andy Jassy will become the next CEO. 

In an email memo to employees made public, Bezos reflected on Amazon's insurmountable growth over the past nearly three decades.

"This journey began some 27 years ago," he described. "Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name. The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, 'What's the internet?' Blessedly, I haven't had to explain that in a long while."

In 1995, the Princeton University grad founded Amazon as an online bookstore in his garage. Now, according to CNBC, Bezos, 57, is the second richest person alive behind Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. Bezos is worth an estimated $184 billion. 

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Bezo described his time at Amazon as "meaningful and fun," writing, "I get to work with the smartest, most talented, most ingenious teammates. When times have been good, you've been humble. When times have been tough, you've been strong and supportive, and we've made each other laugh. It is a joy to work on this team."

Looking towards the future, Bezos said that while he remains committed to fostering continued innovation across Amazon, his focus will shift elsewhere. 

"As much as I still tap dance into the office, I'm excited about this transition," he continued. "Millions of customers depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods. Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it's consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it's hard to put attention on anything else."

"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," Bezos wrote to staff. "I've never had more energy, and this isn't about retiring. I'm super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have."

For more insight into Bezo's private world away from Amazon, read our deep dive here