Once upon a time, a search for Amazon on the internet would lead us to scores of results from the Brazilian rain-forest and the river basin. But, now if you Type anything “Amazon”, the top results that Google spit out would provide you details of a slew of Amazon products – most importantly its online shopping website! Such is the impact of the Jeff Bezos founded company Amazon, who built his tech empire 30 years ago and is reportedly stepping down as the CEO of the company, a news, which came as a surprise to many in the industry, and marks the most radical shake-up in Amazon’s corporate ranks until now.
Bezos moves into a new role, in which he will focus on innovation at Amazon and hands over the top job to Andy Jassy, who currently heads Amazon’s cloud business.
“Amazon is what it is because of invention… When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention,” Bezos said in a statement, adding that “Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.”
The Princeton University graduate, who majored in electrical engineering and computer science and refused many lucrative job offers including the ones from Intel and Bell, founded Amazon as an online bookstore 27 years ago and turned it into a behemoth that sells just about everything. In the process, he became one of the world’s richest people, with Forbes estimating his current net worth at over $196.2bn.
When you think of Amazon, it’s all about experiments, invention, innovation, creativity and customer satisfaction. However, the road to success for Bezos was full of twists and turns… and his futuristic approach to business a reason for why he’s a place in the history of technology.
From pioneering a handheld digital book reader, Kindle that allowed users to buy, download or read and store their book selections, to investing in aerospace technology (Seattle-based aerospace company, Blue Origin), Bezos has a good many feathers to add in his cap.
Remarkable was his venture into cloud through its Amazon Web Services arm, which became indefensible with the way businesses run, especially, for small businesses and startups. By the time Amazon disclosed the unit’s revenue in 2015, AWS was already on its way toward unseating business technology incumbents.
On Tuesday, the company reported that AWS pulled in $12.7 billion in sales in the fourth quarter, making the unit a $50 billion business on an annual basis.
Amazon has faced criticism, however, for working conditions at its warehouses, with human rights groups urging the company to ensure workers’ safety is protected. The company also faced a significant swadeshi resistance by a section of India’s trade associations, small retailers and distributors, whose interests are backed by the government when it visited India last year.
But the tech mogul isn’t quite perturbed by criticism. He knows the art of selling dreams amidst the large-scale protests across the country and his company being under the lens of different regulators in India.
Bezos, who turned 57 last month believes, “One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out,” perhaps that paves the way for Jassy, his long-time trusted deputy to take up the CEO job.