Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon boss

Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon boss

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is stepping down as the company’s Chief Executive Officer on Monday, 27 years after he founded the company.

Bezos is handing over Amazon’s mantle to Andy Jassy, an Amazon veteran who built and ran Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s dominant cloud-computing business for 24 years.

According to BBC, Amazon’s business sparkled during the coronavirus pandemic when sales went high 44 percent from a year earlier, the company’s best quarterly growth rate since 2011.

Its net income was Ksh.874.1 billion (US$.8.1 billion), its largest quarterly profit ever. With demand surging, Amazon hired more than 500,000 people in 2020, boosting its total staff to more than 1.3 million.

AWS sales grew 32 percent in the first quarter of 2020, to Ksh.1.4 trillion (US$.13.5 billion), an annualized run rate of well over Ksh.5.3 trillion (US$.50 billion).

This makes Amazon one of the world’s largest enterprise computing companies, bigger than Oracle (ORCL), SAP (SAP), or Salesforce.com (CRM).

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Amazon’s online retail business had revenue of Ksh.5.7 trillion (US$.52.9 billion), up 41 percent. Third-party seller services like fulfillment and delivery were up 60 percent, to Ksh.2.5 trillion (US .$23.7 billion).

Subscription services, mostly Amazon Prime, had revenue of Ksh.820 billion (US$7.6 billion), up 36 percent, for a run rate north of Ksh.3.2 trillion (US$.30 billion), slightly bigger than Netflix. Other” revenue mostly advertising—reached Ksh.744.4 billion (US$.6.9 billion), up 77 percent.

Amazon’s market value is now Ksh.183.3 trillion (US$.1.7 trillion), which trails just Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) among the United States’ listed companies.

Forbes estimates that Bezo’s fortune rocketed Ksh.21.14 trillion (US$.196 billion) since 1998, when he first appeared on its list of richest Americans.

Today, he’s worth nearly Ksh.21.79 trillion (US$.202 billion), Forbes says.

July 5, marks the 27th birthday of Amazon as Bezos steps down, but will remain the company’s executive chairman as he hands over the reins to Jassy.

Bezos has seen his fortune increase 73 percent since 2019 alone, in spite of handing over one quarter of his company stock to ex-wife MacKenzie Scott in their divorce.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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