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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to step down as CEO, plans to focus on 'other passions'

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Andy Jassy, head of Amazon Web Services, will take over as CEO

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced Tuesday that he will soon step away from his role as chief executive at the company he launched nearly 30 years ago, in order to focus on his "other passions."

What are the details?

In an email to Amazon's 1.3 million employees, Bezos, 57, explained that he would transition to executive chair of the firm's board, and Andy Jassy, head of Amazon Web Services, will take over as CEO.

" As much as I still tap dance into the office, I'm excited about this transition," Bezos wrote. "Millions of customers depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods."

He explained:

"Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it's consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it's hard to put attention on anything else. 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 organizations can have."

Bezos took a leap 27 years ago to start Amazon, which began as an online bookseller. Since then, the company has grown into what the Associated Press describes as "a behemoth that sells just about everything."

What else?

The news of Bezos stepping down came the same day Amazon revealed it "also delivered its largest quarter by revenue of all time at $125.56 billion, pushing it past the symbolic $100 billion mark for the first time," CNBC reported.

Amazon is a $1.7 trillion firm.

The New York Times reported:

Amazon's impact on corporate America and the way that goods are sold turned Mr. Bezos into one of the world's most influential technology and business leaders, as well known as the founders of Apple and Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. It also pushed Mr. Bezos' personal wealth to new heights.

The outlet pointed out that Bezos is worth $188 billion, making him the world's second richest person next to Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

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