The founder of Amazon is officially stepping down from his position as CEO on July 5, 2021. He said he wanted to focus on other Amazon group projects, but also more personal investments. He will be mainly focused, in the coming weeks, on his personal spacewalk.

That’s it, Jeff Bezos has left his original functions at Amazon: since July 5, the billionaire officially ceases to be the CEO of the multinational. He chose this symbolic date because it is the day when Amazon was united into one company, in 1994.

This is an unexpected announcement from the second richest man in the world. However, on February 2, Jeff Bezos said in an email to his employees published on the official Amazon blog that he was going to leave his post as CEO of Amazon to take up other duties. This transition was originally scheduled to occur in Q3 2021, which should correspond to October 2021. It is ultimately a little earlier that this transition took place, probably due to space travel which the date has been brought forward to July 2021.

It’s a man with a much lesser-known name, Andy Jassy, who will take his place. He is currently head of web services for the Amazon group, which has more than one million employees worldwide.

So what will Jeff Bezos do? The founder of the e-commerce platform is adamant it is “not about a retirement,” he explained in his letter. “Being CEO of Amazon is a big responsibility, and it’s very time consuming. When you have such responsibilities, it is difficult to concentrate on anything else. ”

Head to space with Blue Origin

Last February, Jeff Bezos was not talking so much about space. Four months later, however, his next trip out of the earth is clearly occupying a large part of his mind. The richest man on earth will indeed be aboard Blue Origin’s first manned space flight, the very first sightseeing flight the firm is organizing. Liftoff will take place on July 20, 9 days after the flight of rival Richard Branson (Virgin), who also decided to use his wealth to indulge himself in space, with no other scientific interest behind.

Jeff Bezos. CCO / Seattle City Council

Jeff Bezos will focus on peripheral (and philanthropic?) Activities

The billionaire remains “exec chair,” which means executive chairman of Amazon, a position that allows him to “stay invested in important Amazon initiatives,” but which, in effect, takes him far away from day-to-day decisions.

Bezos says he has the energy to focus on other projects. He notably cites other activities peripheral to the Amazon online sales platform:

The Day 1 Fund: this is a fund launched in 2018, through which Bezos and his wife (now ex) pledged to spend up to $ 2 billion to develop priority education areas;

The Bezos Earth Fund, a fund created in 2020 dedicated to the fight against climate change, into which it has injected 10 billion dollars;

Blue Origin: a company specializing in the conquest of space;

The Washington Post, which Bezos bought in 2013 for around $ 250 million.

Bezos also mentions “other passions”, without giving more details. “I have never had so much energy,” he reassured. “I am extremely passionate about the impact that these associations and organizations can have. ”

But should we see in this a shift of the billionaire towards a more advanced philanthropic commitment? In recent years, Jeff Bezos has indeed started to multiply announcements of donations and investments; decisions that may have been seen as late and small compared to what other super rich men have decided to redistribute over the course of their careers.

In 2018, for example, AFP did not fail to point out that the $ 2 billion invested in the Day 1 Fund pales in comparison to the fortune of Jeff Bezos, at the time estimated at 160 billion (2 years more later, it reached 190 billion).