Jeff Bezos will step down as the Amazon CEO on July 5th, when the handover to his successor, Andy Jassy, will be made official.
In a virtual intervention during the annual meeting of shareholders of the company, Bezos explained Wednesday that the choice of that date has “sentimental value” for him, since July 5, 1994 was when Amazon was formally incorporated as a company.
In early 2021, the executive announced that he would step down as the Amazon in the summer and be replaced by Jassy, who has been at the helm of the lucrative Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing business for the past several years.
Bezos will then become executive chairman, a position from which he will continue to have an influence on the firm’s decision-making, but will not be as present on a day-to-day basis.
He will thus have more time, as he himself indicated, to focus on philanthropic initiatives and the management of his other companies, Blue Origin and The Washington Post.
The world’s richest man, according to Forbes, sold 739,000 shares of the e-commerce company in early May, according to public documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The shares sold represent only a small fraction of the total Bezos still controls, estimated at 52.4 million shares, representing more than 10% of the company’s ownership.
Forbes lists Bezos’ fortune at a staggering $177 billion.
The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions on mobility and economic activity have boosted e-commerce sales worldwide, which in turn has boosted Amazon’s profits to triple the figures of just a year ago.
Meanwhile, the firm’s stock market value has almost doubled, further boosting the immense fortune of its founder.