Bye, Jeff Bezos! Hi, Andy Jassy! 5 things you should know about Amazon’s incoming CEO

Andy Jassy takes over as Amazon CEO on July 5, filling Jeff Bezos’ shoes. Photo: @dougbrownDBA/Twitter

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced earlier this year that he was stepping down as the tech giant’s chief executive officer.

Bezos told shareholders that he will officially leave the position on July 5, a “sentimental” date – the same day that Amazon was incorporated in 1994.

Jeff Bezos has decided it’s time for a break from Amazon – but how much do you know about his successor? Photo: AFP

In a letter to employees, Bezos said he will transition to executive chairman and will focus on “new products and early initiatives” in the third quarter. 

He will be replaced by Andy Jassy, the current CEO of Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud platform.

Here are five things to know about the new CEO, based on what over a dozen current and former employees said in interviews published in January.

Jassy has been at Amazon for about as long as Bezos has – 24 years to be exact

Andy Jassy, who leads Amazon Web Services, will replace Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as CEO on July 5. Photo: The Seattle Times/TNS

Jassy joined Amazon in 1997, the same year the company went public. The 53-year-old built AWS from the ground up within the past two decades and became CEO of the cloud platform in 2016. Analyst Dan Ives described him as “one of the most powerful leaders not just within the cloud and tech sector but in the world of business”.

Jassy is a close confidant of Bezos

Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy. Photo: @vandypop/Instagram

Jassy served as a so-called “shadow” adviser to Bezos at one point, joining the chief executive in high-level meetings. In his letter to staff announcing his exit as CEO, Bezos said Jassy will be an “outstanding leader”.

Jassy is one of the highest-paid executives at Amazon

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy in an interview with CNBC’s Jon Fortt at the 2017 AWS Re: Invent conference in Las Vegas. Photo: CNBC

He has raked in a total of more than US$20 million within the past three years. In 2016 alone, Jassy earned over US$36 million while Bezos made about US$1.7 million in total, according to CNBC.

Jassy was reportedly considered for the role of CEO at Microsoft and Uber

The logo of Microsoft is seen at an office building in Wallisellen, Switzerland. Photo: Reuters

Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer approached Jassy at one point about replacing him as chief executive of the company, according to a person familiar with the discussion. There was also a rumour that Jassy was considered to take over as Uber CEO after Travis Kalanick stepped down in 2017.

He’s outspoken in regard to political and social issues

Jassy has spoken out against the police killings of Black Americans and in favour of court decisions to make it illegal to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ+ community, among other calls to action. Jassy has also spoken out against former President Donald Trump’s contempt for Amazon and helmed AWS amid the company’s decision to ban Parler, a social-media app popular among the far-right.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider

Jeff Bezos
  • Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has finally set a departure date of July 5 – so how much do we know about the guy taking over his job in a month’s time?
  • Andy Jassy has been at the e-commerce giant since the beginning – despite reported offers from Uber and Microsoft – and is regarded as politically outspoken