Andy Jassy will officially become the CEO of Amazon on July 5th, the company announced at a shareholder meeting on Wednesday. The company picked that date because it marks 27 years to the day that Amazon was incorporated, according to reporters who transcribed remarks from outgoing CEO Jeff Bezos.
Amazon announced that Jassy, who is the current CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS), would replace Bezos as CEO of the entire company in February. Bezos will become executive chair of Amazon’s board.
“As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions,” Bezos said in a statement in February. “I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.”
Jassy is one of the most important executives in Amazon’s history, having led the hugely successful AWS — the cloud computing technology that underpins Netflix, Spotify, Fortnite, and other major services — to astronomical heights. He joined the company in the late ’90s and was tasked with exploring what would become AWS around 2003. Since then, it has become a massive revenue-driver for the company, earning $13.5 billion last quarter alone.
Jassy is taking the helm of Amazon at a time of significant change and continued growth. Earlier today, Amazon announced that it would be buying film and TV company MGM for $8.45 billion, giving it a huge set of entertainment assets that could help bolster its Amazon Prime Video offering.
But the company’s massive size and market power have also put it in the spotlight for intense scrutiny from all sides. The DC attorney general launched an antitrust suit against Amazon on Tuesday, and the company was accused of antitrust violations in the EU in November. The company is also facing many other lawsuits and probes at the state and federal levels.
And Amazon employees are making increased demands of company leadership, including calling for Bezos and Jassy to support Palestine and to stop polluting near communities of color. The company is also dealing with the aftermath of a contentious union drive in Bessemer, Alabama, and although employees ultimately failed to secure the necessary votes to form a union, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union is contesting the results in an appeal.
It seems likely that Jassy as CEO will run the company much like Bezos has been, given his long tenure at the company and as a Bezos’ lieutenant for years. But Jassy’s experience making AWS the giant it is today seems to indicate that he’s well-suited for the role — now we’ll just have to see what he does when he takes the top job on July 5th.