Source: Lucas Nolan

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has officially stepped down from his role as CEO of the e-commerce giant, being replaced by the company’s former web services CEO Andy Jassy. Bezos will continue with the company in the role of Executive Chair. The leadership handover is occurring just weeks before Bezos will fly into space with his brother.

The Verge reports that Jeff Bezos, who served as the CEO of Amazon since he founded the company 27 years ago on July 5, 1994, has officially stepped down from his role. The company’s investor relations website names Andy Jassy, who has run Amazon Web Services since 2003, as Bezos’ successor while Bezos is now listed as Executive Chair.

The handover of roles on July 5 was previously noted during a shareholder meeting. This is a major moment for Amazon, which has had Bezos at the helm of the company for its entire existence. The company successfully survived the dot-com bubble bursting in the late 90s and has become one of the world’s most dominant technology firms, critics contend that it wields monopoly power to crush the competition both online and in traditional retail.

Amazon dominates the online commerce sector in the United States and parts of Europe and has served as the backbone of much of the modern web thanks to Amazon Web Services. Bezos’ successor, Andy Jassy, joined Amazon after graduating from Harvard Business School in 1997 and has led AWS since the team was founded in 2003.

Jassy was named the CEO of Amazon Web Services in 2016. At the end of 2020, AWS controlled around a third of the total cloud computing market, according to Synergy Research. Jassy’s route is similar to that of the current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who previously ran Microsoft’s Azure cloud business.

Although Bezos is stepping down as CEO, he likely will not be removing himself from the public eye completely. He will be stating on as Amazon’s executive chair, where he’s said he will “stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives,” and also plans to dedicate more time and energy to other initiatives such as the Day One Fund and Bezos Earth Fund foundations, the Washington Post, and his Blue Origin space company.

Bezos will fly to the edge of space onboard a rocket built by Blue Origin on July 20, accompanied by his brother Mark Bezos.