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Jeff Bezos to Step Down as Amazon CEO

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The founder of the e-commerce giant will transition into the role of executive chair as Andy Jassy takes over as CEO.

After serving as the CEO of Amazon for more than 25 years, Jeff Bezos is stepping down from the role.

The founder of the world's largest e-commerce site announced the move Feb. 2, telling investors that he would transition into the role of executive chairman in the third quarter of this year. Andy Jassy, who has served as CEO of Amazon Web Services, will take over as CEO.

"In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives," Bezos wrote in a letter to employees that was published on the company blog. "Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence."


In recent years, Bezos has become a staple at Hollywood awards shows as Amazon has invested heavily in big-budget films and TV shows as a way to provide more value to subscribers to its Prime membership plan. "When people join Prime, they buy more of everything we sell," Bezos told THR in 2015 in an interview about why the e-commerce company had transformed itself into a Netflix competitor. "They buy more shoes, they buy more power tools and so on. How you pay for great content is an important part of making great content available."


The company has made some missteps on its way to becoming a Hollywood player. In 2018, it ousted Amazon Studios head Roy Price following a ***ual harassment claim. For the past three years, former NBCUniversal executive Jen Salke has led the Santa Monica-based content arm, ordering a high-profile Lord of the Rings TV series that has yet to debut and building up a film slate that ranges from broad comedies like Borat Subsequent Moviefilm to insightful dramas like One Night in Miami. The division, which has collected a large haul of Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and wins, is not broken out in Amazon's earnings.



Bezos has become the subject of fascination in business and media circles, gaining recognition for his particular management style. (Known to be frugal, he repurposed doors as desks during Amazon's startup days and extended the practice even as the company grew.) His 2019 divorce from wife Mackenzie Scott became the subject of tabloid fodder after private text messages between him and new girlfriend Lauren Sanchez were leaked to the National Enquirer.


"As much as I still tap dance into the office, I'm excited about this transition," Bezos wrote in his note to employees. "Millions of customers depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods. 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."


He said that as executive chairman, he will have more "time and energy" to focus on philanthropic efforts Day One Fund and Bezos Earth Fund and non-Amazon businesses Blue Origin and The Washington Post, as well as other passions. "I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring," he wrote. "I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have."





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