Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO, handing over the reins as the company navigates the challenges of a world fighting to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. Andy Jassy, who ran Amazon's cloud-computing business, replaced Bezos, a change the company announced in February.
Bezos takes over the role of executive chair, with plans to focus on new products and initiatives. Jassy takes the steering of a $1.7 trillion company that benefited greatly from the pandemic, more than tripling its profits in the first quarter of 2021 and posting record revenue as customers grew ever more dependent on online shopping.
In a blog post to employees earlier this year, Bezos said he planned to devote more time to side projects, including his space exploration company Blue Origin, his philanthropic initiatives, and overseeing The Washington Post, which he owns.
Jeff Bezos will blast into space on July 20 when Blue Origin makes its first flight with a crew, bringing along his younger brother Mark, an investor and volunteer firefighter.
Bezos founded Amazon as an online bookstore and built it into a shopping and entertainment empire that is the second-largest private employer in the U.S., behind Walmart. Amazon now makes movies and sofas, owns a grocery chain, and plans to send satellites into space to beam internet service to Earth.
Jassy, who has been with Amazon since 1997, ran the cloud-computing business that powers video-streaming site Netflix and many other companies, making it one of Amazon's most profitable businesses.
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