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Jeff Bezos to Step Down as Amazon CEO; Andy Jassy to Take Over

It’s the end of an era.
(Lev Radin)
(Lev Radin)
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Jeff Bezos is “stepping down as chief executive of Amazon” and transitioning to executive chairman, WSJ reports.

Why It Matters: This is the biggest change in leadership at Amazon since Bezos started things in a Washington garage more than two decades ago, and it comes on the heels of Amazon reporting a record quarterly revenue of $125.56 billion. He plans to stay involved in his new role but will be less keyed in on the day-to-day. Bezos will also focus more on his other companies such as Blue Origin and The Washington Post.

Enter The Prodigal Son: Taking the reins from Bezos is Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services and one of Bezos’ closest lieutenants. Jassy, 53, joined Amazon in 1997.

A Tough Job To Take: Amazon’s business may be soaring, but it’s also facing the “biggest regulatory challenges in its history, with multiple federal investigations into its competitive practices and lawmakers drafting legislation that could force Amazon to restructure its business.”

  • Bezos, at times, was directly called into action. He testified in front of Congress for the first time last summer.

It’s been a wild ride for Bezos. His stewarding of Amazon has made him “one of the most respected, and feared, leaders in business, as well as fantastically wealthy.”

  • Forbes has Bezos worth more than $196 billion. He is currently “neck-and-neck” with Tesla CEO Elon Musk as the richest person in the world.

Looking Ahead: When Jassy does take the reins, Amazon will become the latest tech giant to step into its next face of leadership Google, Apple and Microsoft have all seen their founders step back and have long been run by successors.

  • Amazon plans for Jassy to officially take the reins from Bezos in Q3.

Justin Oh:

While I agree this is big news, I don’t think it necessarily changes my opinion that Amazon ($AMZN) stock is one of the best core holdings of any portfolio.

Amazon is a behemoth at this point, with a defined culture and vision, functionally led by many lieutenants. Jassy has already been thought of as a potential successor to Bezos and has been there since the beginning. He’s also been in charge of the business that contributes almost all of Amazon’s profits. 

The team stated that Amazon is “firing on all cylinders” which is probably a good time for the transition. I also imagine that Bezos will continue to guide the strategic direction as Chairman. 

We’ll have to monitor the strategic moves Amazon makes going forward, but for now it remains the capital compounder to beat.

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