Bezos, who founded the e-commerce company in 1994, announced the news during Amazon’s Q4 earnings report on Tuesday. He will be succeeded by Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy, who joined the company in 1997. Bezos will remain with the company as executive chairman. A specific date for the transition was not provided.
“I’m excited to announce that this Q3 I’ll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board and Andy Jassy will become CEO,” Bezos said in a letter to Amazon employees on Tuesday. “In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence.”
Amazon was founded as an online book retailer. Under Bezos’ leadership, the company expanded into e-commerce, information technology, and other sectors, including film and television streaming via Amazon Prime Video; Amazon has a market cap of over $1 trillion and its success has made Bezos one of the richest people on the planet.
Though it is unclear how the CEO transition will impact Amazon’s entertainment business, Amazon became a major player in the film and television industries during Bezos’ reign: Prime Video is one of the industry’s largest streaming services and has released a myriad of acclaimed titles in recent years, including television shows such as “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Fleabag,” as well as films such as “Sound of Metal” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”
Bezos stated that he would continue to be closely involved in several parts of the company, including its aerospace and journalism verticals. “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 said in the letter. “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.”
Amazon reported its largest quarter by revenue of all time on Tuesday: The company reported $125.56 billion in revenue, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations of $119.7 billion, per CNBC. The company share price was largely unchanged following the Bezos announcement.