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Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, is to step down as the CEO later this year. According to reports, he will take on the role of executive chair, and current head of Amazon Web Services, Andy Jassy, will take over as the chief executive of the global retail giant.

Andy Jassy has been an employee at Amazon since 1997, while Amazon Web Services has been the company’s biggest profit driver so far.

CNN reports that Jeff Bezos has been Amazon’s CEO since its founding in 1995. He oversaw its growth from an online bookseller into a $1.7 trillion global retail and logistics behemoth.

Bezos, one of the world’s richest people, started Amazon in his garage alongside his then wife, MacKenzie. Back then, they were the only two employees.

Soon they started to employ other people. Business Insider reports that, in the early days, a bell would ring in the office every time someone made a purchase, and everyone would gather around to see whether anyone knew the customer. It took only a few weeks before it was ringing so often they had to make it stop.

Today, Amazon employs 1.3 million people and has been hailed as one of the world’s most successful companies.

In a letter sent to all Amazon employees on Tuesday, Bezos said that as executive chair he will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have time and energy to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington post, and his other passions.

Image credit: Slash Gear

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