Amazon’s New CEO Andy Jassy Has Some Big Shoes to Fill
On Tuesday February 2nd, Amazon’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos announced that he will be transitioning the role of CEO to the current CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Andy Jassy. In a letter to Amazon employees released on Tuesday, Bezos said that this new position will provide the time and energy to focus on his other companies and projects. This blog discusses the transition of the CEO role from Jeff Bezos to Andy Jassy.
Amazon’s Legendary Growth Under Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 as an online bookstore taking on the likes of Barnes & Noble at a time when most people didn’t own computers nor even knew what the Internet was. He successfully grew the company to a point where last quarter Amazon reported $125 Billion in revenue. Despite increasing scrutiny by politicians and regulatory agencies around the world about its alleged monopolistic approach of crushing competitors, Amazon increased revenue by 38% in 2020 to $386.1 Billion. Jeff Bezos’ unrelenting “day 1” mentality fueled the incredible growth of Amazon that has launched it to being one of the most successful companies to date.
Andy Jassy; the Father of AWS.
While many in tech know Andy Jassy as the father of AWS, many outside of tech don’t know who he is. Andy Jassy, who joined Bezos at Amazon in 1997, helped build AWS in 2003 and became its CEO in 2016. Prior to taking on the role of AWS CEO, Andy shadowed Jeff Bezos for 18 months, participating in virtually everything Bezos did. Now is an ideal time for Jassy to be taking over the reins at Amazon given their recent record revenues.
What’s Next for Jeff Bezos?
This new role will provide Bezos with more time to focus on his other initiatives, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, the Day 1 Fund, and the Bezos Earth Fund. Bezos has a passion for space flight and will most certainly carve out time to Blue Origin. Blue Origin, headquartered in Kent, Washington with over 3,500 employees, was founded by Bezos in 2000 and to date has been personally funded by Bezos through the sale of Amazon stock.
The Future of Amazon—Will the Day 1 Mentality Survive?
Part of Amazon’s phenomenal success can be attributed to the “Day 1” mentality that is ingrained in Amazon’s culture. This is directly attributable to Jeff’s Bezos fanatical approach to treating every day at work as the 1st day of a startup. Will Andy Jassy be able to continue this approach to running Amazon?
Given the close ties between Andy Jassy and Jeff Bezos, this probably means that this transition at Amazon won’t miss a beat. The question is who will fill Andy Jassy’s shoes as CEO of AWS? AWS is growing rapidly and currently provides over half of Amazon’s profit and the new CEO will be expected to continue this growth and profitability trend. The future continues to look rosy for Amazon as they continue to grow their core business as well as expand into new business arenas.