On July 5th, 2021 — Amazon’s 27th birthday — Andy Jassy will become the new Chief Executive Officer of the company. The news came as Jeff Bezos revealed he will be formally stepping down as CEO to transition to executive chairman of Amazon’s board.
The company had kept its succession plans quiet, though onlookers speculated that either Jassy or Jeff Wilke, who retired from his post as head of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business last August, would be Bezos’s eventual successor.
Jassy had previously worked as CEO of Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud computing service that helps power sites like Netflix and Spotify. Jassy started working at Amazon in 1997, only a couple years after the company was founded. He was instrumental in crafting the company’s cloud computing platform. In fact, he has led the Amazon Web Services division since its inception.
Under Jassy’s leadership, AWS has grown from a business that offered just a single service when it launched in 2004 to the industry’s largest cloud computing provider. AWS generates nearly half of Amazon’s operating profit and boasts a $54 billion annual sales run rate. Its cloud platform, which in 2004 consisted only of Amazon Simple Storage Service, now features a broad array of solutions ranging from foundational infrastructure services to on-demand satellite ground stations and managed quantum computers.
Commenting on Jassy’s appointment as CEO of Amazon, Bezos told investors that “he has the highest of high standards and I guarantee that Andy will never let the universe make us typical.” Bezos added that “he has the energy needed to keep alive in us what has made us special.”
According to reports, the two have worked closely together. Jassy served as a so-called “shadow” adviser to Bezos at one point, joining the chief executive in high-level meetings.
Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer previously approached Jassy about replacing him as chief executive of the company, according to a person familiar with the discussion. There was also a rumor that Jassy was considered to take over as Uber CEO after Travis Kalanick stepped down in 2017.
With Jassy at the helm, Amazon, and AWS in particular, will likely see continued growth as it seemingly dominates every industry it touches.