On July 5, Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO of the e-commerce giant he created almost 30 years ago. The American billionaire turned to a man of confidence: Andy Jassy, 53 years old, succeeded him. Why choose this particular day to hand over? “It is a sentimental date for me,it is the date on which Amazon was officially incorporated as a company, 27 years ago,” Bezos explained to the shareholders.
This appointment announced at the beginning of the year, did not surprise many people. Joining Amazon in 1997, Jassy first joined the company as Director of Marketing. Through hard work and skill, this Harvard graduate quickly gained the trust of Jeff Bezos until he was considered by many to be the man who whispered in the ear of the founder of Amazon. Man in the shadows until now, Andy Jassy will now find himself in full light. Will he have kidneys strong enough to withstand the pressure inherent in function?
“Andy is recognized internally and he’s been with Amazon for almost as long as I have been. He’s going to be an exceptional leader and he has my full confidence,” Bezos said.
If Andy Jassy joined Amazon at the end of the 90s, he is recognized and respected for having founded, in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud branch and real cash cow of the group. Because in reality, the real business of the e-commerce giant is not the delivery of packages but the storage and processing of data online. This branch of Amazon, responsible for providing online services to other websites or client applications, generated $54 billion in annual revenue in 2020. AWS alone would account for almost two-thirds of the net income of the group (63%).
For now, Andy Jassy, father of two, cultivates discretion. His positions are rare, as his interviews. More consensual and diplomatic than Jeff Bezos, he will nevertheless have to quickly find the confidence of his (very) many employees and manage some urgent cases. On May 25, the Washington prosecutor, for example, launched a lawsuit against Amazon for abuse of dominance. A larger project also awaits on the social front: Amazon employees regularly complain about their working conditions, which they consider challenging.
Who says making a good impression on your boss is necessary? Certainly not Andy Jassy. In 1997, shortly after joining the company, this big sports fan made a big mistake. During an internal competition at Amazon, he accidentally hit Jeff Bezos in the head with a paddle. At least the multi-billionaire doesn’t hold a grudge.
After relinquishing his position as CEO, the founder of Amazon, who went through a difficult divorce in 2019, will become executive chairman. He will have the right to oversee the significant decisions taken without being present daily. “I will also have the time and the energy to devote myself to Day 1 Fund, to the Bezos fund for the planet, to Blue Origin (his space travel company, note) to the Washington Post, and my other passions”.
Written by: Imaaz Nadeem