Jeff Bezos will step down as Amazon’s CEO

Andy Jassy -- the head of Amazon Web Services, the cloud business -- will take over for Jeff Bezos, who will become exec chair in Q3 2021.

February 3, 2021

The only way to cool off $AMZN’s stock price (Source: YouTube)

Yesterday, Amazon announced Q4 2020 earnings of ~$126B — the e-comm giant’s first $100B+ quarter.

But the company’s spicy financials were overshadowed by a bigger piece of news: Jeff Bezos is resigning as Amazon’s CEO.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Bezos has been more of an executive chairman in recent years, trying not to “schedule meetings before 10 a.m. and to make all of his tough decisions before 5 p.m.”

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994…

… and since its IPO in May 1997, he’s seen the company’s value explode from ~$300m to ~$1.7T.

The pandemic has been a massive tailwind for Amazon’s business, with ecomm deliveries surging and remote work juicing its cloud business. In Q4 alone, the company hired 175k employees, expanding its workforce to ~1.3m.

This business success has invited regulatory scrutiny, with Amazon facing antitrust probes from in the US and Europe.

Andy Jassey is taking over the top spot

A Harvard Business School grad who’s been at Amazon since 1997, Jassy was one of 2 key execs (along with Jeff Wilke) who Bezos tasked with overseeing the company’s day-to-day responsibilities in 2016.

As the current CEO of Amazon Web Services, Jasse has been a critical driver of the company’s growth in recent years.

How critical? Investor Jon Sakoda believes Amazon’s cloud business would be worth $2T-$4T as a standalone stock, based on public company cloud multiples.

What’s next for Bezos?

Like many of us, Jeff enjoys the occasional side hustle.

The only difference is that his side hustle — selling $1B of $AMZN stock per year to fund his space company, Blue Origin — happens to pit him against the world’s second richest person, who also wants to “colonize the cosmos.”

Bezos can focus full-time on this hobby in Q3 2021, when he’ll transition to the executive chairman role on Amazon’s board.

“Keep inventing, and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy,” Bezos wrote in an email to employees. “Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1.”

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