Mr Bezos will step down as CEO during the third quarter of this year and will transition to executive chair of Amazon’s board. The Amazon founder announced the decision to his employers in a letter earlier today. Mr Bezos said he will stay engaged in important Amazon projects but the move will allow him to have more time to focus on the Bezos Earth Fund, his Blue Origin spaceship company, The Washington Post and the Amazon Day 1 Fund.
The letter said: “I’m excited to announce that this Q3 I’ll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board and Andy Jassy will become CEO.
“In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.
“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.”
Net sales rose to $125.56billion USD (£91.9billion) in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from $87.44billion USD (£63.9billion), beating estimates of $119.7 billion USD (£87.6billion), according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
It represented a 43 percent rise on the same period in 2019.
The sales boost was partly down to the company’s decision to move its Amazon Prime Day, usually held in July, to October.
Amazon has also benefited from the coronavirus pandemic, with shops and retailers forced to close under lockdown rules.
Amazon beat estimates for sales in the last quarter of last year (Image: Getty)
As a result, consumers shifted to make purchases online.
Mr Bezos credited the company’s success to invention, and said in his letter: “Amazon is what it is because of invention.
“If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. That yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive.
“When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention.
“Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.”
Mr Bezos had been the richest person in the world since 2017 and is currently worth a whopping $184billion (£134.7billion).
But last month Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, overtook the Amazon founder for the top spot.
Mr. Musk is believed to have a net worth of more than $185billion USD (£135.4billion), according to CNBC
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