Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has officially stepped down overnight and is being replaced by Andy Jassy, the mastermind behind Amazon’s cloud computing division.
Bezos has stepped down exactly 27 years after he founded Amazon as an internet bookseller.
The 57-year-old has since overseen its growth into a global e-commerce giant that is one of the most valuable companies in the world.
Amazon’s annual profit almost doubled in 2020 to $28.3 billion (US$21.3 billion) – partly down to the COVID-19 pandemic pushing shopping online.
In a letter to employees earlier this year Bezos said he wanted to focus his energies and attention on new products and early initiatives in his new role of executive chair.
“This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name. The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, ‘What’s the internet?’ Blessedly, I haven’t had to explain that in a long while,” he said.
“Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognised as one of the most successful companies in the world.”
Jeff Bezos vs Amazon workers pay
While Bezos’ take home pay has been eye-watering, the same cannot be said for those who work at the e-commerce giant.
Complaints of unsafe working conditions and debilitating hours have followed the company for years.
And while it pays $15 an hour, Bezos' status as the richest person in history continues to draw scrutiny.
Bezos has a net wealth of $262 billion, which means he makes more in a second than the average US worker makes in a week.