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‘Sentimental’ Jeff Bezos chooses poignant day to step aside as Amazon CEO

We’ve known for a while that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos planned to hand off the day-to-day running of the company to a trusted lieutenant, but now we know exactly when the transition will happen.

The world’s richest man will hand over the reins to Amazon Web Services (AWS) boss Andy Jassy on July 5. Why is that date significant? It marks the 27th anniversary of the founding of the revolutionary e-commerce site-turned-behemoth-that-touches-most-aspect-of-our-lives.

In comments issued to Variety, Bezos said: “We chose that date because it’s a sentimental one for me. It’s the date that Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago. I’m very excited to move into the exec chair role where I will focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.”

Under Bezos’ stewardship Amazon has grown from an online bookstore to a juggernaut incorporating online shopping, media streaming, local grocery shopping and more recently smart home control and the ability to converse with an AI voice assistant by the name of Alexa.

The announcement comes on the day Amazon announced another major expansion – the acquisition of the Hollywood Studio MGM, which owns the James Bond, Rocky and Robocop franchises among others.

Bezos, of course, has many other interests outside of Amazon. He runs the Blue Origin private space firm and owns the Washington Post newspaper. He also has the Bezos Earth Fund to oversee, which is a $10 billion philanthropic quest to reverse climate change.

In a letter to employees earlier this year, Bezos wrote: “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 organisations can have.”

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