Jeff Bezos To Step Down As Amazon CEO, Transition To Executive Chair

Andy Jassy, a longtime Amazon employee who currently serves as CEO of Amazon Web Services, will assume the role of CEO.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, speaks during the Economic Club of Washington's Milestone Celebration event in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2018. | Getty Images
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, speaks during the Economic Club of Washington's Milestone Celebration event in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2018. | Getty Images

Amazon’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos will step down from his role as chief executive this summer and transition to executive chair of the company’s board, he announced Tuesday in a memo to employees. Andy Jassy, a longtime Amazon employee who currently serves as CEO of Amazon Web Services, will assume the role of CEO, Bezos said.

Bezos has run Amazon since he founded it in 1994. In nearly three decades, the company has evolved into an e-commerce behemoth and completely disrupted the retail and technology industries. In a statement, Bezos called it “an optimal time for this transition.”

“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,” Bezos said in the letter to employees.

He added that “this isn’t about retiring” and that he will “stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives” while focusing on other projects, including philanthropic initiatives like Day One Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, a space company he founded, and the Washington Post, which Bezos purchased in 2013.

Other prominent executives, including Bill Gates of Microsoft and Larry Ellison of Oracle, have “remained intimately involved in their companies’ business” after stepping down from their CEO roles, NBC News reported.