Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon CEO

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Andy Jassy, chief executive officer of web services at Inc., speaks during the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Jassy is leading a push into artificial intelligence to boost Amazon's cloud computing, which commands about 45 percent of the market for infrastructure as a service, where companies buy basic computing and storage power from the cloud. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down from his role as chief executive later this year and transition to the role of executive chair, the company said Tuesday. He will be replaced by Andy Jassy.

Bezos has been Amazon’s CEO since its founding in 1995. He oversaw its growth from an online bookseller into a $1.7 trillion global retail and logistics behemoth, which has also made Bezos into one of the world’s richest people. Jassy has worked for Amazon since 1997 and currently serves as CEO of the company’s cloud business, Amazon Web Services, its biggest profit driver.
“This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name,” Bezos wrote letter to employees Tuesday. “The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, ‘What’s the internet?’ … Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognized as one of the most successful companies in the world.”
The news came as part of Amazon’s fourth-quarter earnings report. The company handily beat Wall Street analysts’ projections for both sales and profit, capping a banner year as the pandemic boosted its retail and cloud businesses.
The company’s shares were essentially flat shortly after the market closed Tuesday, but gained almost 1% two hours after the closing bell. Amazon’s stock has grown nearly 69% over the past year.

Andy Jassy, who currently heads Amazon Web Services, will take over as Amazon CEO from Jeff Bezos later this year.

Massive earnings beat

Amazon (AMZN) posted quarterly net sales of $125.6 billion, up 44% from the same period in the prior year and well ahead of the $119.7 billion Wall Street analysts had projected.
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Net income in the quarter hit $7.2 billion — nearly double the $3.7 billion Wall Street predicted and more than double the $3.3 billion in income the company earned in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per diluted share were $14.09.
The quarterly results include sales from Prime Day, which was held October 13-14 after being postponed over the summer because of the pandemic. Sales from Prime Day, as well as continued demand for online shopping as Covid-19 cases surged, contributed to 40% year-over-year growth in Amazon’s net sales in North America, which totaled more than $75 billion. International sales jumped 57% to nearly $37.5 billion.
Amazon said it delivered more than a billion products to customers worldwide during a “record-breaking holiday season.”
Revenue from Amazon Web Services grew 28% from the prior-year quarter to more than $12.7 billion, which the company attributed to “significant customer momentum,” including new commitments and migrations to the cloud by the likes of JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Twitter (TWTR), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, among others. AWS posted full year revenue of more than $45 billion and operating income of $13.5 billion.
“AWS is well on its way to creating an annualized $50 billion revenue company,” Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, said in an emailed statement. “This makes AWS larger than and SAP combined. Equally impressive is that AWS delivered over half of the company’s operating profit.”

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