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Amazon CEO Bezos to step down as Q4 sales top 100 billion dollars

By Huw Hughes

3 Feb 2021

Amazon has announced that Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO as the company reported yet another record-breaking quarter of sales and profits amid the pandemic.

Bezos, who founded the business in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle, is handing the reins over to Andy Jassy, an Amazon veteran who has been at the retailer since 1997 and who founded and was CEO of the company’s cloud platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Bezos will remain in the company as executive chair.

It comes as Amazon reported another record-breaking quarter as the business continues to profit from the pandemic as consumers look, more than ever, to purchase online.

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Net sales soared 44 percent to 125.6 billion dollars in the three months to 31 December December 31, compared with 87.4 billion dollars a year earlier.

That period included Black Friday and holiday sales, as well as Amazon’s annual Prime Day, which this year was pushed back from its usual slot in July due to the pandemic.

That brought the company’s net sales for the year up to 386.1 billion dollars, a 38 percent increase on last year.

Meanwhile, net profits for the year reached 7.2 billion dollars compared to 3.3 billion dollars a year earlier. For the year, the retailer reported net profits of 21.3 billion dollars compared with net income of 11.6 billion dollars in 2019.

Commenting on Amazon’s record results and his decision to step down to investors, Bezos said: “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.”

Photo: Jeff Bezos, Amazon Corporate