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Jeff Bezos to resign as CEO of Amazon later this year

Wed, 3rd Feb 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO of Amazon in the third quarter of this year, the company revealed today.

Bezos will transition to the role of executive chair, with current Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy to succeed Bezos at that time.

Bezos says the transition of the top job is coming at the right time, given its financial standing following an extremely profitable year despite a worldwide pandemic.

“Amazon is what it is because of invention,” the founder and CEO said in a statement.

“We do crazy things together and then make them normal. If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. That yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive.

“When you look at our financial results, what you're actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention. Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.

The retail giant broke the news alongside its Q4 2020 financial results, which revealed a massive 38% growth in sales for the full year 2020, rising from US$280.5 billion in 2019 to $386.1 billion in 2020.

Operating income increased to $22.9 billion for the full year, compared with operating income of $14.5 billion in 2019, and net income increased to $21.3 billion, compared with net income of $11.6 billion in 2019.

In Q4 2020 specifically, Amazon did especially well: according to its financial results, net sales increased 44% to $125.6 billion in the quarter, compared with $87.4 billion year-over-year.

Excluding the $1.7 billion favourable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 42% compared with fourth-quarter 2019.

Operating income increased to $6.9 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $3.9 billion in fourth-quarter 2019, and net income increased to $7.2 billion in Q4 2020, or $14.09 per diluted share, compared with net income of $3.3 billion, or $6.47 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2019.

In its forward-looking statement, the retail giant said it expects net sales to be between $100.0 billion and $106.0 billion, growing between 33% and 40% compared with first-quarter 2020. This guidance anticipates a favourable impact of approximately 300 basis points from foreign exchange rates.

The company also expects operating income to be between $3.0 billion and $6.5 billion, compared with $4.0 billion in first-quarter 2020, and anticipates around $2 billion of costs attributable to COVID-19.

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