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AWS chief Andy Jassy gets top job at Amazon as CEO Bezos steps down

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I didn’t see this coming and neither, it appears, did anyone else outside of Amazon’s inner circle.

Were you to ask me what major tech CEO might step down in the near futire, I’d have guessed Arvind Krishna at IBM could walk away this year — making room for heir-apparent James Whitehurst. Or maybe at long last Larry Ellison would decide to spend more time on his Hawaiian island, Lanai.

But Jeff Bezos, walking away from the CEO job at Amazon? No way!

In a shocking move, after Amazon reported its Q4 2020 revenue — even better results than expected — the company also announced that Bezos, its founder and CEO, would become Executive Chair in the third quarter of 2021.

Amazon

AWS’ Andy Jassy.

The top spot will go to Amazon Web Services (AWS) leader Andy Jassy.

At what company does the founder and CEO’s decision to leave take second-billing in the statement announcing his departure? Well, Amazon, obviously.

In a statement, Bezos detailed how Amazon upended both online and brick-and-mortar retail: “Amazon is what it is because of invention. We do crazy things together and then make them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalized recommendations, Prime’s insanely-fast shipping, Just Walk Out shopping, the Climate Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, infrastructure cloud computing, Career Choice, and much more.”

That’s certainly all true. When Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, e-commerce was still a sketchy idea. Sure, maybe he could sell books. But, honestly, at the time most people thought Amazon was just another dot-com financial fantasy. Its fate would be to get  gobbled up by brick-and-mortar powers such as Barnes and Noble or Borders. 

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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