Jeff Bezos to hand over Amazon CEO role to Andy Jassy on July 5, anniversary of company’s creation
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (GeekWire File Photo)
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos put an expiration date on his tenure as CEO, saying Wednesday morning that Andy Jassy will succeed him in the role on July 5.
“We chose that date because it’s sentimental for me, the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago,” Bezos said, addressing shareholders via webcast during his final annual meeting as CEO, held virtually due to the pandemic.
Bezos will become Amazon’s executive chairman following the transition, which was announced in February. Previously the company had said only that the change would take place in the third quarter of this year.
Jassy, the longtime leader of the Amazon Web Services cloud business, “is going to be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence,” Bezos said.
“He has the highest of high standards and I guarantee that Andy will never let the universe make us typical,” Bezos added. “He has the energy needed to keep alive in us what has made us special. While it won’t be easy, I do predict Andy will also find it satisfying and oftentimes fun.”
Bezos’ comments capped a meeting that reflected the full complexity of the company he started. It started with a series of shareholder proposals seeking to hold the company accountable on issues including working conditions, potential misuse of its artificial intelligence technology, and environmental impact.
One proposal sought to require that the board be led by “an independent director who has not previously served as an executive officer of the company,” effectively seeking to remove Bezos from that role.
A majority of votes were cast against all of the outside shareholder resolutions, the company said at the meeting. Detailed results are typically released by the company via a subsequent regulatory filing.