New Delhi: Billionaire Jeff Bezos has stepped down as chief executive officer of e-commerce giant Amazon, a company he founded exactly 27 years ago.
Bezos has handed over the reigns to Andy Jassy, who took over the Seattle-based company on July 5.
Amazon was founded in 1994 as an online marketplace for books in Bezos’ garage in Bellevue, Washington. Since then it has become one of the largest corporations in the world with a market capitalisation of over $1.7 trillion.
The company’s offerings have expanded over the nearly three decades, going beyond its online marketplace. Amazon now owns Prime Video, a streaming platform and Amazon Web Services, its hugely successful cloud computing platform.
Bezos “had an instinct for the right thing” in finding the next market, said Roger Kay, analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates told AFP.
Today, Bezos is the richest person in the world, with a net worth of $201 billion, according to Forbes. He now owns The Washington Post and a space technology company Blue Origin.
The pandemic has only fuelled Amazon’s growth since people were forced to stay indoors and shop online. The company recorded net sales of $386 billion, 38 percent higher than the figure recorded in 2019.
However, Amazon’s success and Bezos’ reputation has been dented by criticism of its work culture and antitrust litigation in the United States.
BBC reported that during the failed attempt to create a union in Alabama, some Amazon workers said they felt like a “cog in a machine”, while others described the feeling of being “constantly monitored”.
Bezos also came under criticism after ProPublica reported that he paid little taxes though his wealth soared.
An investigation by ProPublica, 25 richest Americans (by Forbes’ tally), including Bezos, paid a “true tax rate” of just 3.4 percent on wealth growth of $401 billion between 2014 and 2018.