[imagesource: Nigel Parry]
Yesterday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that he was stepping down as CEO of the company, with former Amazon cloud chief Andy Jassy set to take over.
Bezos has done alright since launching the e-commerce giant back in 1994, and the company’s success has helped him add a few zeros to his personal net worth.
According to the Forbes real-time billionaire tracker, Bezos is worth a cool $196,2 billion, making him the world’s richest person (sorry, Elon), with some estimates placing the value of Amazon at around $1,7 trillion.
You don’t amass that sort of wealth without stepping on toes (or underpaying your workers), and seeing your personal life became tabloid fodder, but that’s all part of the gig.
Now that Bezos is stepping away from some of his Amazon duties – the 57-year-old will remain as executive chair of the Amazon board – it’s a matter of what comes next.
Forbes outlines some of the basics:
Bezos said said he’ll use his new free time to focus on The Day One Fund, the $2 billion fund he established in 2018 aimed at opening full-scholarship, Montessori-influenced preschools in underserved communities and funding nonprofits that support homeless families…
He also said he’ll work on the Bezos Earth Fund, which he kicked off a year ago with a $10 billion pledge (almost 10% of his net worth at the time) to combat climate change by issuing grants to “scientists, activists, NGOs—any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world,” Bezos said.
Bezos also has Blue Origin, his private spaceflight company, which is developing rockets for commercial space tourism that he hinted could help NASA take humans to the Moon.
There’s also work to be done over at The Washington Post, which he bought in 2013, in order to expand its digital presence and improve revenue.
You don’t become as rich as Bezos without a hardcore work ethic, and there is very little chance that he’s actually going to slow down in post-CEO life.
After all, he’s notorious for micromanagement, obsessing over every detail of the empire he created.
In his resignation email sent to all staff, which you can read in full on The Telegraph, Bezos said, “I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring”.
Some believe he will take on a role similar to that of Bill Gates:
“I believe Gates is going to be the role model for Bezos,” [author and professor of marketing at the New York University Stern School of Business] Professor Galloway says.
“This is all about legacy and right now Bezos is leaving with the most impressive business mind in history. The only thing he can do right now is take that mind, his billions and apply them to a very big problem that needs to be solved”.
Whatever comes next, he leaves behind quite the legacy at Amazon.
Perhaps he’ll also spend more time on the ‘Gram – a snapshot of his most recent posts:
I wonder how much he could charge for a sponsored post?
Finally, from out of left field and with little relevance other than the fact that I found it amusing, here’s David Blaine blowing Bezos’ mind with a magic trick uploaded to YouTube last year.
The billionaire really seemed to enjoy himself, so maybe it’s a hobby he could take up on the side.
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