Exploring Jeff Bezos’ Final Days as Amazon CEO

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos has officially stepped down as the active CEO of the retail giant. Tune in to hear Bloomberg’s Matt Day describe what Jeff Bezos’ last days as the CEO of Amazon were like as he handed the baton off to Andy Jassy.


Host: So, gosh, Matt, I mean, where do we start with a guy who changed the world, for better or for worse, what happens on Monday? Are you expecting any fanfare, any sort of ceremony as this passing of the baton happens or not?

Day: You know, my expectation would be Andy Jassy, introduce himself to the troops. Maybe that’s an internal email, maybe it’s internal video. But this really would take a whole lot to kind of mark, you know, the 27 years that that Bezos has had in charge of that company. As Ed said, it’s an insane run, reshaped online shopping, invented it for all intents and purposes, for much of the United states.

Host: And Jeff, of course, is becoming executive chair or staying on as executive chair, I should say. So he’s not necessarily going anywhere. How much do you think he’s going to still be trying to be in that driver’s seat and allowing Andy to have that role?

Day: That can be a tough transition. You know, you saw this with Microsoft and Bill Gates staying involved. It’s kind of a technical advisor over Steve Ballmer’s shoulder. Jeff Bezos has said he wants to stay involved in new projects at Amazon. He’s called out worker safety is something he wants to keep working on and trying to invent new ways to keep employees safe. Jeff Bezos is also about to blast himself off into space here in a couple of weeks. So I don’t think he’s going to be looking over your shoulder every day, but certainly wants to tell investors that he’s staying involved and wants to keep a hand in the company he founded.

Host: And, of course, a huge milestone coming up for Jeff Bezos, where he’s planning to fly into space on July. But Richard Branson trying to beat him to the punch and has scheduled his own rocket ship ride for about a week from now. you think that’s getting under his skin at all?

Day: You know, they haven’t had quite a spirited rivalry. I think it would get really testy if Elon Musk were to jump into the fray and say he wanted to go into space. That’s a guy who says, here’s some words with Jeff Bezos over the years about differing approaches to space travel and the rivalry and all that.

Host: All right. Well, we’re going to talk about that a little bit more later in the show and Branson’s mission itself. But how are employees feeling about this? Are they excited? Are they apprehensive?

Day: I think it’s a lot of business as usual is what Amazon is trying to portray. You talk to employees, a lot of them just don’t know Andy Jassy. He’s been off running Amazon Web services, the cloud computing group, for the last 18 years, a lot of rank and file, and said Amazon’s retail group inside its warehouses have never met the guy. Never had cause interact with them very much at all. So Amazon’s really got an opportunity to introduce him to a lot of the workforce. You know, in public, I think we’re certainly going to hear a lot of the same things, Jeff Bezos has said a lot of references to keeping shoppers happy and kind of staying focused.

Host: Talk to us about what’s going to be priority number one on any jessy’s agenda. That’s a great question.

Day: I think Andy Jassy has a tougher plate coming in and maybe just basically did business of building from nothing you could kind of invent. And in a shoe box here, Andy jessy’s got a lot of constituencies to satisfy. You know, the accompany us on a roll financially, but is under the gun for antitrust reasons in the US and Europe. Andy Jassy has to do a lot of messaging to a lot of constituencies. So it’s not just the pure customer focus that Amazon’s, you know, management style might prefer and might really want to talk about any. It’s got a lot more balancing to do as he takes the reins.

*Bloomberg contributed to this content

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