UNITED STATES: A massive step that e-commerce giant Amazon had announced in February was executed on Monday. Andy Jassy who ran Amazon’s cloud computing business replaced CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.
However, Bezos will partly have his hands over the company he started of his Seattle garage in 1995 as he takes over the executive chair position, with plans to focus on new products and initiatives.
Earlier this year, the newly former CEO announced to his employees that he planned to devote more time to side projects, including his childhood dream of traveling to space. The Forbes’ estimate richest man in the world will blast into space on July 20 when his space exploration company Blue Origin will make its first flight.
Initially founded as an online bookstore, Bezos built Amazon into a shopping and entertainment empire that is today, behind Walmart, the second-largest private employer in the U.S. Jassy has been with Amazon since 1997. Running the cloud-computing business that powers video-streaming site Netflix and many other companies, he has made it one of Amazon’s most profitable businesses.
Jassy takes the helm of a $1.7 trillion company that saw spike-high profits from the pandemic, more than tripling in the first quarter of 2021 and posting record revenue as customers grew ever more dependent on online shopping. On the other hand, Amazon faces activism from a volatile workforce just as a rapid economic recovery causes a labor crunch that has retailers, manufacturers, and other companies competing for higher wages and benefits of the workers.
The company defeated an attempt by workers to unionize at an Alabama warehouse earlier this year but faces a much daunting challenge as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters launches a broader effort to unionize Amazon workers.
One of Jassy’s biggest challenges will be growing calls for tighter regulation on tech giants. In October, a report the House Judiciary Committee mentioned possibly breaking up Amazon and others, making it harder for them to acquire companies imposing new rules to safeguard competition.