Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder is set to exit as CEO with the Amazon Web Services CEO, Andy Jassy taking over the top role

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will be stepping down from his role as CEO this year and transition to an executive chair position. The announcement comes in conjunction with Amazon's fourth-quarter results where it recorded net sales increases of 44% or US$125.6 billion. The company's operating income also increased to a whopping US$6.9 billion, up from last year's US$3.9 billion.

Upon stepping down from his role as executive chief, Bezos will focus on "new products and early initiatives."

In a letter to employees, Bezos looks back at his journey in starting the company. "This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name. The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, 'What's the internet?' Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognised as one of the most successful companies in the world."

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Above Andy Jessy (Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

"Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it's consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it's hard to put attention on anything else. As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions. I've never had more energy, and this isn't about retiring. I'm super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have," said Bezos.

The man set to take over Bezos's CEO role is Andy Jassy, the current CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS) the company's cloud platform. Jassy joined the tech company in 1997, the same year Amazon went public and built AWS from the ground up within its two-decades-long operation.

He became the CEO in 2016 and ranks as one of the highest-paid executives at Amazon, raking in more than US$20 million within the past three years. Jessy is also a longtime member of Amazon's "S-team", their elite leadership group, making him an obvious choice for the top job.

Bezos added that Jassy "will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence."

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