Jeff Bezos will step down as Amazon's CEO later this year and be replaced by AWS CEO Andy Jassy

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Jeff Bezos will step down as Amazon's CEO later this year and be replaced by AWS CEO Andy Jassy
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
  • Jeff Bezos will step down as Amazon CEO in the third quarter of 2021.
  • Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, will replace him.
  • Bezos will become executive chairman and focus on "new products and early initiatives."

Jeff Bezos will step down as Amazon CEO in the third quarter.

In a letter to Amazon employees published Tuesday afternoon, Bezos announced he would transition to the executive-chairman role and focus on "new products and early initiatives."

"Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it's consuming," Bezos wrote. "When you have a responsibility like that, it's hard to put attention on anything else."

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Bezos said that while he would still be involved in important initiatives at Amazon, he planned to spend more time on philanthropy - including the Bezos Earth Fund and his Day One Fund - as well as his two other major endeavors: The Washington Post, which he purchased 2013, and his rocket company, Blue Origin.

Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, will replace him. Bezos wrote Jassy would be an outstanding leader and that he had the Amazon founder's "full confidence."

Read more: Andy Jassy will be the next CEO of Amazon. Insiders dish on what it's like to work for Jeff Bezos' likely successor who built AWS into a $40 billion business.

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Jassy joined Amazon in 1997, the year it went public, and quickly moved up the ranks. He is a close confidant of Bezos and has led Amazon's cloud-computing business since 2003. The cloud CEO helped build AWS into a massive unit that generates over $40 billion in annual revenue. AWS is also the de facto leader in cloud computing, with over 30% of market share. Insiders say Bezos has unbounded trust in Jassy, who was promoted from AWS's senior vice president to CEO in 2016.

The people who have worked with Jassy, who turned 53 last month, describe him as a genuinely nice person who nevertheless sets high expectations for his people and expects them to rise to the challenge. Jassy takes Amazon Web Services' role in powering so much of the internet economy - and his role in keeping it on top in the cloud market - very seriously.

Are you an Amazon Web Services employee? Contact reporter Ashley Stewart via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email (astewart@businessinsider.com).

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