Almost 30 years after he started the company, Jeff Bezos has stepped down as CEO of Amazon. He isn’t walking away from the company mind you, but will no longer have the day-to-day role of running the operations and will use the time to focus on a number of other endeavors. It’s hard to imagine Jeff Bezos fully walking away under any circumstance so hearing that he will still have part in the visioning going forward as well as high-level decisions makes total sense. But his title has now changed and Andy Jassy is now handed the role of CEO.
Jeff Bezos first started Amazon all the way back in 1994 when he started the company as an online bookstore (remember those days?) but over the subsequent years expanded to include music and videos as well. Since then, through numerous times of uncertainty, the company has gone on to innovate not only aspects of online reading (Kindle) but eventually into the distribution of goods across the entire vertical. Simply put, Amazon is now a behemoth that only seems to get bigger every day. Though the slot keeps jockeying these days, Jeff Bezos either *is* the richest man in the world or a close second at an estimated worth of around $186 billion (give or take a hundred million).
Jeff Bezos has grown an empire since first starting Amazon in the mid-90s and his other initiatives will now be part of his core focus. One of those is his space aeronautic company Blue Origin. The company is gearing up for its first manned space flight this month. Jeff Bezos will be one of the five people on the flight along with his brother who he gave a seat. Two astronaut pilots have seats and then a fifth seat was auctioned off to the highest bidder. That number climbed to $28 million last month. It hasn’t been reported who actually won the bidding.
That Blue Origin flight will last a total of 11 minutes but will be one of the first manned space flights among the private companies that have popped up in this, ahem, space. Jeff Bezos has company in the field that includes Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic which is launching a flight next week. This is the new Space Race folks.
According to CNN Business, the move by Jeff Bezos to step down as the CEO of Amazon comes at a conspicuous time with the company possibly facing more regulatory measures in both the short and long term. The parabolic growth of the company over the years, but especially in the pandemic, might have it in the government’s crosshairs when it comes to monopoly busting and that could also be a factor in Jeff Bezos stepping down now.
Whatever the reason, there’s no denying the scale of what Jeff Bezos has created with Amazon. Though he’s stepping down as CEO his name will always be synonymous with the company and the growth over the years. How he spends this time after the move remains to be seen, but there are still a tremendous amount of initiatives he is overseeing in the short and long term.