Meet Andy Jassy, the new Amazon CEO who will now oversee the empire built by Jeff Bezos

As Jeff Bezos steps down from his position of Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy, previously heading Amazon Web Services (AWS), takes the reins of the company starting today, 5 July. The 53-year-old Andy Jassy now takes over the e-commerce platform from Bezos who headed the tech giant for 27 years. Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and founded Amazon Web Services in 2006.

(Also read: Jeff Bezos’ exit is one of many among Amazon's top ranks as Andy Jassy takes over as CEO)


New Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy. Image: Amazon

Jeff Bezos will remain the executive chairman of the board and will focus on his other passions including Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and more. Bezos is also scheduled to travel to space on 20 July as his company Blue Origin is launching its first passenger-carrying mission.

Who is Andy Jassy?

The new Amazon CEO, who grew up in New York City, joined Amazon in 1997 as a marketing manager. It was the same year he graduated from Harvard Business School. As per a report by The Wall Street Journal, Jassy's colleagues describe him as soft-spoken and "approachable in a way that some say Bezos isn’t". He is one of the disciples of Jeff Bezos who shadowed him every day and attended all meetings with him, reported Insider. He was reportedly Bezos' first "shadow advisor". He founded the cloud computing service, Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the most profitable parts of the company, in 2006.

In an email to Amazon employees, Jeff Bezos wrote, "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."

Back in September 2020, Jassy tweeted asking for accountability for the killing of Breonna Taylor. He has also shown his support for the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ issues.

Andy Jassy has also been in the spotlight for defending controversial topics like Amazon's sale of facial recognition technology to US law enforcement agencies, including ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), which was the agency responsible for separating immigrant children from their families.

Challenges that Andy Jassy should be ready to face

Currently, Amazon is facing a lot of backlash and threat of regulatory action to control its dominance in the markets worldwide. Increasing antitrust pressure in the US is one of the major challenges that Jassy will have to face in the near future while heading the company that has over 1.3 million employees. He will also have to keep exploring new territories while handling the fierce competition in the market.

Natalie Berg, a retail analyst and co-author of Amazon: How the World’s Most Relentless Retailer Will Continue to Revolutionise Commerce told  The Guardian, “There is a risk of going from disruptor to disrupted. There is a challenge to innovate at scale and maintain agility and culture that’s allowed them to be as nimble as they have been. There are a lot of other disruptive businesses coming in. Fifteen-minute supermarkets like Weezy make Amazon look like a laggard."

As per a report by The Verge, at a virtual event held in December last year, Jassy said, "It’s really hard to build a business that sustains for a long period of time. To do it, you’re going to reinvent yourself, and often you’re going to have to reinvent yourself many times over. Typically, what you see is the desperate kind of reinvention — companies on the verge of falling apart or going bankrupt, deciding they have to reinvent themselves. When you wait until that point, it’s a crapshoot whether you’re going to be successful or not. You want to be reinventing when you’re healthy. You want to be reinventing all the time.”

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