Back in 1994 a company called Cadabra was incorporated in Washington state. The name didn’t stick and after considering Relentless, the company’s owner decided to call it Amazon.
Originally built with the intention of selling books, today Amazon is a massive entity that has become the first name in online shopping.
The website’s founder, Jeff Bezos, has served as its chief executive officer (CEO) since inception but Bezos has announced he will be moving to an executive chair on the Amazon board and a new person will take over reigns as CEO.
That person is the founder and current CEO of Amazon Web Services, Andy Jassy.
Interestingly, despite Jassy having been responsible for building AWS – along with 57 other people – he was only promoted to CEO of the business ten years after its inception.
When AWS turned 10 in 2016, it was generating $2.5 billion in revenue per quarter. In Q3 2020, AWS reported total revenue of $11.60 billion.
It seems then that Amazon is in good hands with Jassy at the helm but Bezos made it clear that he’s not disappearing entirely.
“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. As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions. I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have,” the outgoing CEO wrote in a letter to his employees.
Beyond that, Bezos is only set to take up the executive chair in Q3 of this year so there’s still some time to transition control of one of the most valuable companies in the world.
“Keep inventing, and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy. Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1,” concluded Bezos in his letter.