(CMR) Jeff Bezos is to step down as CEO of Amazon; however, he will continue to play an important role within the day-to-to running of the multi-billion dollar business, which serves countries worldwide.
Bezos, who founded Amazon 27 years ago, is to hand over the reins to Andy Jassy, head of Amazon Web Services. The new CEO will take up his duties in the third quarter of this year, while Bezos will become executive chairman, Amazon said.
In a memo to employees posted on Amazon's blog, Bezos said he was giving up the CEO role to focus on other ventures, including the Bezos Climate Fund, the Washington Post, and Blue Origin, Bezos' space flight company.
“In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives,” Bezos told employees in a statement on Tuesday.
He added, “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 he finds his work meaningful and fun working “with the smartest, most talented, most ingenious teammates.” He, however, said he was happy about the transition.
Amazon had a surge in online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic, with sales jumping 37%, to $386 billion, the company reported. The company was also able to employ over 500,000 people last year, increasing its staff to approximately 1.3 million people.