Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said Tuesday he would step down and transition to the role of Executive Chair in the third quarter of 2021.
He will hand over the CEO role to Andy Jassy who currently heads Amazon Web Services.
Jassy joined Amazon as a marketing manager in 1997 and founded AWS in 2003, the cloud services division of the company which has been one of the most profitable but least-known units of the tech giant.
"Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have," Bezos said in a statement. "He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence."
"Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition," he said.
The news came as Amazon reported a blowout holiday quarter with profits more than doubling to $7.2 billion and revenue jumping 44% to $125.6 billion -- as pandemic lockdowns caused online sales to explode around the globe.
In a letter to Amazon employees, Bezos said he would stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but would pivot towards philanthropic initiatives, including his Day One Fund and Bezos Earth Fund, and other business ventures in space exploration and journalism.
Bezos, 57, founded Amazon in his garage in 1994 and went on to grow it into a colossus that dominates online retail, with operations in streaming music and television, groceries, cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence and more.
His other businesses include The Washington Post newspaper and the private space firm Blue Origin.