Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said on Tuesday he was stepping down from his perch as CEO, after a storied run with the company, but one that was not without its turmoil.
The shocking power change at Amazon came as the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings, in which it also announced that Andy Jassy, the head of Amazon Web Services, would succeed Bezos. Web Services is one of Amazon’s best-performing and fastest-growing segments, as it runs the computing infrastructure for large and small companies outside of Amazon.
“Amazon is what it is because of invention," Bezos said in the announcement. "We do crazy things together and then make them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalized recommendations, Prime’s insanely-fast shipping, Just Walk Out shopping, the Climate Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, infrastructure cloud computing, Career Choice, and much more. If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. That yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive. When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention. Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.”