After the Amazon Q4 earnings call just a few weeks ago it was announced that Jeff Bezos would be transitioning to the role of Executive Chair of Amazon whilst Andy Jassy would be stepping into the role of CEO.
So whilst Jeff isn’t stepping away from Amazon entirely, it is expected this move to Executive Chair will free up his time to work on other projects including the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and others.
This news for many prompted the question…
Who is Andy Jassy?
Andy is the current CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and has been at Amazon since 1997 where he soon became Bezos’ technical assistant which by 2006 led him to set up Amazon’s cloud computing division which became what we know now as AWS.
So with coming up to 24 years with the company and working closely with Jeff Bezos it is safe to say that Andy will share many of the same attributes and visions of his predecessor. In Jeff’s letter to his employees he expressly stated
“Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence.” – Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon
After the news broke Andy took to Twitter to share his initial thoughts on his new role come Q3.
Andy is a Harvard business school graduate and whilst he has not been the household name that Jeff has become, that does not perhaps do justice to what he has built under AWS.
AWS currently owns about 50% of the worlds public cloud infrastructure market and can include the likes of McDonald’s and Netflix as customers. With the appointment of Andy to Amazon CEO it is speculated that AWS will remain a core part of the Amazon business. At the time of publishing Amazon have not announced a replacement CEO Andy at AWS.
Those close to Amazon in the early days when Andy first joined the company are not surprised by this announcement as Andy was moulded by Jeff in the early days according to a former executive business partner of Bezos.
“If you’d asked me yesterday what I thought the timeline would be of Jeff stepping down as CEO, I would not have guessed now. But if you’d said, ‘Okay, he’s stepping down, who will he choose?’ the first, instant name out of my mouth would be Andy Jassy,”
“I watched him blossom into this beautiful complimentary executive to Jeff, where he learned to anticipate the questions Jeff would ask, the things he would hate, the things he would love, his leadership style,”
“While Andy, of course, has his own fantastic version of executive, he was trained with those instincts, to prioritise the things that Jeff would and make decisions the same way Jeff would when he’s not in the room. Obviously, he’s taken that on to great heights in his role as CEO of AWS.” – Ann Hiatt, Tech Leadership Consultant & Former Amazon Business Executive
So with what we do know about Andy Jassy, it sounds like Amazon is going to be in great hands. Will he become a similar cult of personality that Jeff Bezos did in the role will remain to be seen, but as far as continuing the Amazon journey through Day 1, it looks like he is more than qualified for the job.
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