Andy Jassy has officially taken over from Jeff Bezos as Amazon chief executive, receiving a stock package worth more than $200 million.
Today (July 5), on the 27th anniversary of Amazon’s foundation, the company will undergo its first ever change in leadership, seeing its founder step away from the day-to-day control of the company which has made him one of the world’s richest and most powerful men.
Jassy, the former chief executive of Amazon Web Services (AWS) who has worked at the company since 1997, is also set to enjoy the spoils of running the world’s largest online retailer.
The 53-year-old has been approved for a 61,000-share plan over the next 10 years, which at Amazon’s current $3500 share price is worth just over $214 million, but could be worth far more by the time it is fully vested.
Jassy’s additional shares will make him the company’s second largest individual shareholder behind Bezos, adding to the 88,538 shares he already owns and around 50,000 shares that had yet to vest by the end of 2020.
READ MORE: Who is Amazon’s new CEO Andy Jassy?
While the pandemic helped Amazon see record sales, jumping 38 per cent in 2020 to $386 billion (around the GDP of the United Arab Emirates), Jassy’s transition comes at a crucial time for the retail giant.
Amazon’s market dominance is drawing increasing scrutiny from governments across the globe, and the retailer is facing anti-trust cases, new regulations and a wider backlash on multiple fronts.
Jassy is a relative unknown compared to his predecessor, but has long been touted as a likely successor to Bezos having masterminded AWS staggering rise to prominence.
AWS was launched in 2006 after the company realised its finely tuned shopping platform could be sold as a product in itself, offering third party companies web hosting, computer processing and storage for relatively little money.
The cloud computing service is now used by millions of companies including the CIA and is thought by many to be more valuable than Amazon’s retail business.
Last year AWS grew 28 per cent to achieve $45 billion in sales, 12 per cent of Amazon’s total.
Notably however, it achieved $13.5 billion in operating income, more than Amazon’s flagship retail arm.