In an email posted to the About Amazon site, Bezos told employees that he will step back from day-to-day operations to focus more on “new products and early initiatives” as well as corporate philanthropy and his other properties like The Washington Post.
Jassy, 53, for years has been seen as a potential successor to Bezos. Jassy’s likelihood as successor seemed inevitable last year when Jeff Wilke, who was the consumer business chief and was also seen as a CEO candidate, announced he’d be leaving this year.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com as a bookselling website in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle. Amazon went public in 1997 and he ran it as CEO who owns an 11.1% stake. He divorced his wife MacKenzie in 2019 after 25 years of marriage and transferred a quarter of his Amazon stake to her. In 2019, Amazon notched $280.5 billion in revenues and a record $11.5 billion in net profit. Bezos owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace company that is developing rockets for commercial use.
Amazon has faced criticism from U.S. senators and the general public for its treatment of warehouse workers during the coronavirus pandemic. However Between March and April 2020, amid the pandemic, Amazon said it hired 175,000 additional workers. In April 2020, Bezos said he would give $100 million to Feed America, a nonprofit that operates food banks and food pantries across the country.