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.
Bezos says that he’s not retiring, but is instead “focus[ing] on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions”. The Day One Fund is Bezos’ charitable giving endeavour; the Earth Fund is a $10 billion commitment for climate change research. Blue Origin is space exploration as a private tourist.
This news was delivered concurrent with Amazon’s fourth quarter earnings where it announced by far its best quarter and year in the company’s history. Bezos is stepping out of the CEO role with a net worth of $196 billion, according to Forbes, which increased from $113 billion since April and from $73 billion in 2017. Bezos didn’t even crack the top ten list in 2015.
A dominant story of the last several years — and particularly during this pandemic — is the abhorrent working conditions of Amazon warehouse staff. Tim Bray quit as a result. Amazon used some workers for social media PR. Amazon’s website is full of counterfeits, and what little it does to assist in narrowing down the overwhelming choice is misleading at best and fraudulent at worst, leaving customers in the lurch. Amazon used predatory practices to acquire Diapers.com after which it raised prices for consumers. Just today, Amazon settled with the FTC because it withheld tips from delivery drivers for years.
That whole trickling down of wealth sure appears to be going in an upwards direction.
See Also: Wealth shown as one pixel for every thousand dollars.