Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO on July 5, the tech giant announced on Wednesday morning at its annual shareholder meeting. Bezos will hand the chief executive title off to Andy Jassy, a longtime Amazon executive who runs the company’s multibillion-dollar cloud business.
The July 5 exit wasn’t chosen at random; Bezos said on Wednesday, “We chose that date because it’s sentimental for me — the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago.”
Bezos announced in February he would be stepping down as chief executive later in the year, but an official transition date hadn’t been set until Wednesday. The $189 billion man is still expected to still be heavily involved with the tech giant, though, as he moves into his new role as executive chairman of Amazon.
Jassy, meanwhile, has been with Amazon since 1997 and spearheaded the launch of Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud business, in 2003. AWS has since grown into a key cog in the Amazon machine, recently reporting $13.5 billion in revenue in Q1, up 32% year-over-year.
Bezos took a moment to sing Jassy’s praises during Wednesday’s shareholder meeting.
“He has the highest of high standards and I guarantee that Andy will never let the universe make us typical,” Bezos said. “He has the energy needed to keep alive in us what has made us special. While it won’t be easy, I do predict Andy will also find it satisfying and oftentimes fun.”
The announcement came during a busy day for Amazon. Earlier in the morning, the company said it had agreed to buy MGM for $8.45 billion. The deal is the second-largest in the company’s history, behind its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017. Check TheWrap later on Wednesday for more details and analysis on the Hollywood-shaking MGM deal.