During the company’s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that he will officially step down from his role as chief executive on July 5.
Bezos will hand the reins to Andy Jassy, who currently runs Amazon Web Services, after a nearly three-decade run leading the internet giant. This job has made him one of the richest people in the world. Bezos will become Amazon’s executive chair. The company announced the change as part of its February earnings report, saying Jassy would take over during the fiscal third quarter. According to Bezos, the timing is “sentimental,” — July 5 is the date Amazon was incorporated in 1994. He also commented:
“I’m very excited to move into the executive chair role, where I’ll focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.”
Bezos said he expects that Jassy will be “an outstanding leader.” He continues:
“He has the highest of high standards and I guarantee Andy will never let the universe make us typical. He has the energy needed to keep alive in us what has made us special.”
The company said that when Jassy leaves the top post at AWS to run Amazon, he will be replaced by Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky. Jassy will take over an increasingly complex and scrutinized business.
Among the shareholder proposals introduced during the meeting was one that would have allowed an hourly fulfilment associate to serve on the company’s board.
During the shareholder meeting, Bezos was asked about the massive size of Amazon’s business. The question came after the District of Columbia filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company Tuesday, alleging it has abused its market dominance in e-commerce to harm competition. He commented:
“I’d say we face intense competition from well-established companies everywhere we do business, in every industry. Retail is a very healthy industry and it’s far from a winner-take-all situation.”
Bezos also listed some of Amazon’s newer bets that Jassy will have to manage, including its telehealth offering, Amazon Care, and its satellite internet effort, Project Kuiper.