Feb 3, 2021 - Economy & Business

What to know about Amazon's new CEO

Andy Jassy. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Andy Jassy. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon's next CEO is hardly a household name, but Andy Jassy has built Amazon Web Services into a $50 billion-a-year business.

The big picture: He's seen by colleagues, former colleagues and rivals as someone who combines an unassuming presence with a keen analytical mind and fierce competitive streak.

Catch up quick: While best known for his work at AWS, the 53-year-old Andy Jassy has been at Amazon since graduating Harvard Business School in 1997.

  • He led Amazon's expansion beyond books and into the music business back when that meant shipping CDs rather than streaming music or selling MP3s.
  • He also served as former CEO Jeff Bezos' technical assistant, a role that saw him shadow the Amazon founder.

Between the lines: Like the man he replaces, Jassy is known for his ability to see around corners and spot the holes in a presentation. If you are leading a meeting, you can expect Jassy to ask the one question you were hoping no one would ask.

  • Also, like Bezos, Jassy is known for being willing to change his mind if presented with a good justification.
  • Jassy is known for being more focused on rivals than Bezos, which makes sense for a man who has spent the last decade with Microsoft and Google looming over his shoulder.
  • Despite leading one of most technical parts of Amazon, Jassy is himself not a engineer but has managed to earn the respect of the unit's technical staff.

Outside of work, Jassy has a wide range of interests including passions for music, film and sports.

  • He's a regular at Sundance as well as a diehard New York Giants fan and part owner of the new Seattle Kraken NHL team.

Flashback: Jeff Wilke, the CEO of Amazon’s consumer business, was another longtime executive widely thought to be a candidate for the top spot.

  • Wilke announced last year he would leave the company in 2021, a move that was seen as a sign that either Bezos wasn’t going anywhere or someone else had been tapped as the next CEO.

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