New York: Jeff Bezos, who built an online bookstore into a $1.7 trillion technology empire reaching into space, has announced he will be stepping down as CEO at the apex of his career to focus on innovations.
Bezos, who extended the company’s reach to India with multi-billion dollar investments, said he will move away from its day-to-day operations and become the executive chairman of Amazon’s board.
Bezos said that in his new role he intends “to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives”.
Andy Jassy, the head of the conglomerate’s web services, is to succeed him as Amazon’s CEO in the transition set for the third quarter.
It is estimated that about half of the company’s revenue comes from Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Bezos, who started his company reportedly with an initial investment of $10,000 in 1994 is now worth about $180 billion making him the world’s second-richest man.
From printed books, he made the leap to Kindle, the digital device to read books and do more electronically.
From his company’s data needs, he built up AWS, the hugely profitable cloud computing division that provides data storage services to about a million customers.
Independent of Amazon, Bezos bought the ailing Washington Post and with heavy investments in technology and people — he has almost doubled the number of editorial staff — is bringing it back to its former position of influence and reach.
In his personal life Besos set the gossip mills churning in 2019 when his affair with Lauren Sanchez, a helicopter pilot and a former TV journalist became public as he and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos, were divorcing.
Bezos made a $38 billion divorce settlement with MacKenzie who has since changed her surname to Scott.