Amazon CEO – Jeff Bezos – Takes A Backseat With His Billions

Pamela Connellan
on 4 February 2021

Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, used to be the richest person in the world. But this year Elon Musk beat him to the title, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. Now Bezos is only the second-richest person in the world with a net worth of 182 billion compared to Musk’s 197 million.

Still, at this level, it’s pretty much just semantics. Bezos has held the number one position for over three years – all due to the fact he started Amazon. The shopping website is now an institution.

However after almost a year of COVID-19 which has seen a huge spike in the numbers of people shopping online. Bezos has announced this week that he’s stepping down as the CEO. He founded Amazon 27 years ago to and will take up the role of Amazon Board Executive Chair.

Alarm bells started ringing along Wall Street

Bezos sent an email to his employees announcing the move and of course, it sent alarm bells ringing along Wall Street. But it doesn’t look as if this move will affect the stock market too much. Amazon reported a year of record growth on Tuesday of this week, including a 38 percent increase in net sales from 2019, netting the company $21 billion in income, nearly double from the year before.

And it’s not like Bezos is retiring or moving on completely. Andy Jassy, former CEO of Amazon Web Services will take up the CEO role and Bezos will take a more overall role as he writes in his email: “In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.”

Bezos will focus on his other “initiatives” including Climate Change

Earth Fund Jeff Bezos

Bezos is known for his work with climate change after he set up the Bezos Earth Fund and donated 10 billion US to it in February of last year. At the time he said: “We can save the earth… It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals.”

So hopefully, Bezos is stepping down to become more of a ‘Global Warrior’ who can put more energy into helping save the earth. He basically says in his email that this move will give him “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.”

“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,” he said.

Amazon – one of the most successful companies to launch

The current CEO of Amazon Web Services, Andy Jassy, will step up to take on the role of CEO.

Bezos continues in his email to say that years ago: “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.

“Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognised as one of the most successful companies in the world.

“How did that happen? Invention. Invention is the root of our success. We’ve done crazy things together, and then made them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalised recommendations, Prime’s insanely-fast shipping, Just Walk Out shopping, the Climate Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, infrastructure cloud computing, Career Choice, and much more. If you get it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. And that yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive.”

While, as Bezos says in his email, Amazon has a great “invention track record,” there’s always the other side and when you look at the fact that Amazon has largely wiped out the viability of many medium-sized businesses, this does have to be taken into account.

“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,” he said.

“Keep inventing, and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy. Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1,” he added. For more information on Amazon, take a look at our story here.



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