On Monday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will pass over his CEO title to Andy Jassy, capping a more than two-decade tenure at the helm of the firm as it grew from an online bookseller to a $1.75 trillion worldwide retail, logistics, and internet powerhouse.
On the first crewed voyage into space from his rocket business Blue Origin later this month, Amazon’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos will be joined by Wally Funk, one of the 13 women who passed NASA’s astronaut training program in the 1960s.
Jeff Bezos said he intended to spend more time on his other endeavors, including the Washington Post, space company Blue Origin, and philanthropy, when the company announced in February that he would shift from CEO to executive chair. But, even as he returns to a less visible role at Amazon (AMZN), Bezos will continue to wield enormous power at the firm for years to come, as the company’s largest individual shareholder, a longtime mentor to the next CEO, and as chairman of the board.
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“He’ll probably continue being involved,” said Daniel Elman, a global technology analyst at market research firm Nucleus Research, “though he’ll no longer be focused on the day-to-day and instead be able to focus on company-wide projects and new goods and services.” “His abilities to break through the noise and uncover high-value prospects cannot be emphasized… thus it would make sense for Amazon to release him from the operational grind so he can focus on those areas.”
Bezos’ departure as Amazon’s CEO comes at a critical juncture for the company. The pandemic sparked a surge in demand for its services, resulting in increased earnings and recruiting. However, the company’s rapid expansion has drew the attention of regulators, who feel it has grown too large.
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