Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced Tuesday that he was stepping down as the tech giant’s chief executive officer later this year.
In a letter to employees, Bezos said he will transition to executive chairman and will focus on “new products and early initiatives” in the third quarter.
His replacement will be Andy Jassy, the current CEO of Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud platform.
Here are 5 things to know about the new CEO, based on what over a dozen current and former employees told Insider in interviews published in January.
Jassy has been at Amazon for about as long as Bezos has, for 24 years to be exact.
Jassy joined Amazon in 1997, the same year the company went public. The 53-year-old built AWS from the ground up within the past two decades and became CEO of the cloud platform in 2016. Analyst Dan Ives described him to Insider in a previous interview as “one of the most powerful leaders not just within the cloud and tech sector but in the world of business.”
Jassy is a close confidant of Bezos
Jassy served as a so-called “shadow” advisor to Bezos at one point, joining the chief executive in high-level meetings. In his letter to staff announcing his exit as CEO, Bezos said Jassy will be an “outstanding leader.”
Jassy is one of the highest-paid executives at Amazon
He has raked in a total of more than $20 million within the past three years. In 2016 alone, Jassy earned over $36 million while Bezos made about $1.7 million in total, according to CNBC.
Jassy was reportedly considered for the role of CEO at Microsoft and Uber
Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer approached Jassy at one point about replacing him as chief executive of the company, a person familiar with the discussion told Insider’s Ashley Stewart and Eugene Kim. There was also a rumor that Jassy was considered to take over as Uber CEO after Travis Kalanick stepped down in 2017.
He’s outspoken in regard to political and social issues
Jassy has spoken out against the police killings of Black Americans and in favor of court decisions to make it illegal to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community, among other calls to action. Jassy has also spoken out against former President Donald Trump’s contempt for Amazon and helmed AWS amid the company’s decision to ban Parler, a social-media app popular among the far-right.