Amazon founder Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO on Monday, handing over the reins as the company navigates the challenges of a world fighting to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
Andy Jassy, who ran Amazon’s cloud-computing business, replaced Bezos, a change the company announced in February.
Bezos, Amazon’s biggest shareholder with a stake worth about $180 billion, will still hold sway over the company he started out of his Seattle garage in 1995. He takes over the role of executive chair, with plans to focus on new products and initiatives.
Jassy takes the helm of a $1.7 trillion company that benefited greatly from the pandemic, more than tripling its profits in the first quarter of 2021 and posting record revenue as customers grew ever more dependent on online shopping.
At the same time, Amazon faces activism from a restive workforce just as a rapid economic recovery causes a labor crunch that has retailers, manufacturers and other companies competing for workers with higher wages and other benefits.
The company defeated an attempt by workers to unionize at an Alabama warehouse earlier this year, but faces a more formidable challenge as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters launches a broader effort to unionize Amazon workers.