Amazon investors take Jeff Bezos exit in stride

Ruben Fields
February 3, 2021

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks via video conference during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on antitrust on Capitol Hill on July 29.

Amazon also announced that CEO Jeff Bezos will transition to the role of executive chairman in the third quarter and will be replaced by Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS.

He'll still have a hand on the wheel though, as executive chair of Amazon's board going forward.

Amazon spent $11.5 billion on hiring, expansion and other costs related to COVID-19 past year - but the pandemic-driven surge in online shopping, as well as continued strength from its cloud-computing division, more than made up for those outlays, the company said Tuesday.

"I've never had more energy, and this isn't about retiring", Bezos wrote. In the missive, he says that while he continues to "find [his] work meaningful and fun", he wants to be able to devote proper time and attention to his "Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and [his] other passions".

"Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition", he said. "I'm super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have".

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"This is again the largest quarterly expansion in dollar terms, as continuing pandemic restrictions drove intense demand for cloud to support remote working and learning, ecommerce, content streaming, online gaming and collaboration", wrote Canalys in a report Tuesday afternoon.

Amazon initially rose after-hours as the market digested both the company's earnings and its CEO news.

Bezos' riches have also swelled: His stake in Amazon is now worth about $180 billion. "“It's more of a restructuring of who's doing what". Under Bezos, Amazon also launched the first e-reader that gained mass acceptance, and its Echo listening device made voice assistants a common sight in living rooms.

Editor's note: Amazon is among NPR's recent financial supporters. The company is one of the most valuable in the world, worth almost $1.7 trillion.

"We pioneered customer reviews, one-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".

While Amazon has become the leading force in online commerce, Bezos has brushed aside criticism over its dominance of the sector. He will hand day-to-day control to Andy Jassy, his longtime head of Amazon Web Services, a swiftly growing division that has nearly singlehandedly changed the way companies buy the technology that powers their businesses.

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