Andy Jassy, head of Amazon’s Cloud Computing Division will step into the shoes of Jeff Bezos who announced his retirement from the CEO of the global behemoth. He will become Executive Chairman. Is Andy big enough to fill Jeff’s boots? Time will tell.
Bezos Will Still Be there In The Background
It is unlikely that Jeff will completely dissociate himself from Amazon’s operations. For one, Andy is his trusted sidekick. Two, Jeff will be Executive Chairman and will undoubtedly be asked for approval on decisions and will give directions to Andy. After 27 years at the helm, it will not be easy to let go. The primary focus of Bezos will be his rocket venture Blue Origin.
Out Of Nowhere To The Top
Back in those days when e-commerce was still a novelty, Jeff Bezos started selling books online on his store, Amazon. In time he would go on to surpass Bill Gates with a net worth of $192B. From books, Amazon sold everything and established a strong IT presence with its AWS platform. Bezos was working with D.E. Shaw, a hedge fund operator when he got the idea that would bloom into a billion-dollar global business. With over 34 major investment projects and philanthropic activities, Bezos is genuinely multi-dimensional. He started with an investment of $ 10000 with his wife and two programmers and so was born Amazon in July 1995, selling books across the USA and the world. The rest is history. From sales worth $11000 in 1995, Amazon zoomed to $3B in sales in 2001. A smart businessman, he also invested $250000 in Google in 1998 and then went on to buy The Washington Post in 2013. He also has a sizeable interest in Twitter. Is that all? By no means. He has a finger in every pie with $112M invested in Airbnb and $35M in Uber. Workday, an online human resource provider, is backed by Bezos. Today he wants to focus more on Blue Origin based at his Corn Ranch in Texas, spread over 165000 acres. His dream is to become a space entrepreneur, a throwback to the strangely prescient words of Carl Sagan for Star Trek’s Space the Final Frontier.
It is not all about making money. In 2018 Bezos and his ex-wife MacKenzie donated $33M to TheDream.US, an organization working for undocumented immigrant college students. Through the grant, these students will get college scholarships.
A Hard Taskmaster
He drives himself hard and is ruthless with employees, as shown in numerous reports of accounts of employees working in Amazon at various levels. But then, how else do you get to the top if you do not have a fire in your belly? Ordinary men would not understand it. In the world of whales, Bezos is a real shark.
His Letter Reflects It
Bezos wrote a letter to his 1.3 million announcing his decision to step down. An excerpt from the letter clearly shows his future intentions: ” I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.” One can speculate a lot on what he will achieve in the future when he concentrates energies on The Washington Post and his space explorations. Will we see hegemony in the media and monopolistic exploitation and systematic commercialization of space and its resources fifty years from now? It is hard to tell. Each year he commits $1B to Blue Origin, a company that has developed a reusable rocket. It’s New Shepard spacecraft have already passed safety tests at high altitudes. Likely that Elon Musk will be left standing on Terra Firma while Bezos rules the skies.
Jeff Bezos Has A Human Side Too!
One would assume that Bezos is a business machine par excellence. However, there are other facts to his personality too. While other CEOs get by on just a few hours of sleep, Bezos is famously known to sleep for at least 8 hours in the firm belief that rest is the best recharger. If he finds free time, he trawls the oceans, looking for discarded NASA rocket ships, a zany hobby, using submarine teams to comb and retrieve the relics. While top CEOs would be busy at work by 8 AM, Jeff is likely to be enjoying a leisurely breakfast at home with his family. That Bezos for you, a man from outer space at home on Earth.