Announcing his decision in February, Bezos said he would become the company’s executive chairman, while Andy Jassy, head of Amazon’s Web Services, will replace him as CEO. Bezos said his resignation will allow him to spend more time on his other companies.
Amazon has reported a record quarterly profit, with the coronavirus pandemic helping the e-commerce giant grow bigger. According to data released by Amazon, its sales were up 44 percent during the first two months of 2021 compared to the same period last year and stood at $108.5 billion, resulting in the second consecutive quarter that the company has exceeded $100 billion in sales.
The increase in sales came despite the fact that the e-commerce giant postponed its “Prime Day”, which offers a variety of deals to customers with big discounts. The event invariably helps the company boost its sales.
Amazon also saw growth in other areas outside its e-commerce operations. Amazon web services, which provides cloud computing and storage for governments and companies like Netflix, reported a 32 percent rise in sales compared to the previous year.
The e-commerce giant also posted a prognosis for the second quarter. It said it expects to secure between $110 and $116 billion in sales, which is more than analysts have expected.
The development comes as Amazon’s founder and head Jeff Bezos prepares to step down and become executive chairman. He said the change will take place sometime in the second half of the year. Announcing his decision, Bezos said it in no way means that he is retiring, and emphasised that he will “stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives”.
Bezos is expected to focus on his other projects such as his space company Blue Origin, annual leadership awards, the Day 1 Fund, and Bezos Earth, whose aim is to combat climate change.
Bezos set up Amazon, initially an online bookstore, in his garage in 1994. Bezos revealed that at the time, he had warned the company’s investors that there was a 70 percent chance that the company would fail or even go bankrupt. Three years later, Bezos took the company public. His forecast about bankruptcy nearly came true in 2002, when Amazon’s rapid spending caused financial distress, with its revenues stagnating.
However, the company rebounded from financial instability and a series of projects launched by Amazon earned the company the title of the world’s largest retailer in 2013, while Bezos became one of the wealthiest individuals. In 2017, he overtook Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the richest person in the world. According to Forbes magazine, at the moment his net worth is $201.4 billion and some reports say he may potentially become the world’s first trillionaire as early as 2026.