Nostalgic

The King of Amazon hands over his crown: here's what's ahead for the new CEO

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |

Alexa, play "In My Life" by The Beatles... Jeff Bezos is feeling post-Prime Day nostalgia. Yesterday, Amazon's founder officially stepped down as CEO after 27 years at the helm. The 'Zon has come a long way since 1995, when Bezos sold the site's first book from his Seattle garage. Bezos had left a cushy hedge fund job to take a risk on his ecomm idea, saying "Even if I fail, I would not have any regrets." Spoiler: he didn't fail.

  • Enter Jassy: Andy Jassy = Amazon's new CEO. The Amazon lifer was the CEO of AWS, Amazon's massive cloud computing service ($45B in annual sales).
  • Exit Bezos: Kind of. Bezos is now exec chairman, focusing on new Amazon products and special projects.
  • Cue investors: Amazon stock barely budged when the transition was announced in February, signaling investors have confidence in the shift.

Special delivery... CEO onboarding packet, coming in bulky. Jassy is inheriting an ecomm and cloud leader with side-hustles in hardware, grocery, advertising, healthcare, streaming, and Hollywood (see: MGM acquisition).

  • What’s going well: Money. Amazon's sales surged 44% last quarter, and profit more than tripled as the ecommerce boom keeps booming. The 'Zon is expected to rake in 40%+ of US ecomm sales by the end of the year.
  • Not going well: Regulatory scrutiny. The FTC's new leader Lina Khan is a Big Tech critic who wrote a major paper on Amazon's dominance while at Yale Law. Last week, Amazon made moves to stop her from participating in 'Zon-related antitrust investigations. Oh, and a House committee just advanced major legislation to curb Big Tech's dominance.
THE TAKEAWAY

Bezos' focus was blistering growth... Jassy's focus might be corporate responsibility. Amazon's 14 corporate principles include: "deliver results," "bias for action," and "customer obsession." A few days before Jassy took over, Amazon renamed them Leadership Principles and added two: “Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer,” and “Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility.” They're reactions to criticism Amazon has received over the years — but they're also Bezo's parting words to Jassy, to tee up Amazon's next chapter.