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Jeff Bezos to step down as Amazon CEO

Bezos will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon Web Services.

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NEW DELHI: From a garage in suburbia to the plinth of the richest man in the world – Jeff Bezos’ journey is the ultimate start-up success story. Now, the Amazon CEO is stepping down after 30 years at the helm of the world’s largest e-commerce company.

He will transition to the role of executive chairman by the third quarter of 2021, a move he said would give him "time and energy" to focus on his other ventures. Bezos will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon's cloud computing business.

The change will take place in the second half of 2021, the company said.

"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," Bezos said in a letter to Amazon staff on Tuesday.  

"I've never had more energy, and this isn't about retiring. I'm super passionate about the impact I think these organisations can have," he added.

He further stated in the letter that he would "stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives" but would pivot towards philanthropic initiatives, including his Day One Fund and Bezos Earth Fund, and other business ventures in space exploration and journalism.

Bezos, 57, has led Amazon since its start as an online bookshop in 1994. The firm now employs 1.3 million people globally and has its hand in everything from package delivery and streaming video to cloud services and advertising.

The announcement came as Amazon released its financial results for its fourth quarter that ended 31 December 2020. The company recorded $ 100 billion in sales for the last three months of 2020. The etailer has reported $386 billion in overall sales last year, up 38 per cent from 2019. Profits almost doubled, rising to $21.3 billion. The e-commerce portal's raging success during 2020, the year of the pandemic, has allowed Bezos to amass a fortune to the tune of $196.2 billion, according to a Forbes report.

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