May 27 (UPI) — Jeff Bezos announced during a shareholder meeting Wednesday that he will step down as Amazon’s CEO on July 5.
Bezos said the date is “sentimental” for him as it marks the 27th anniversary of Amazon’s incorporation in 1994.
Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy will replace Bezos, who will transition to executive chairman of Amazon’s board where he is expected to remain involved in the company while shifting a focus to initiatives such as the Bezos Earth Fund, his spaceship company Blue Origin, The Washington Post and the Amazon Day 1 Fund.
The news comes as Amazon announced it purchased iconic film studio MGM for $8.45 billion.
Bezos initially announced his plans to step down in February after expanding the online bookseller into a massive online retail platform over the decades as the company surpassed a market value of $1 trillion in 2018.
While Bezos predicted Jassy will not find the CEO role easy, he said he expects him to uphold the company’s vision.
“He has the highest of standards and I guarantee 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.”
Wednesday’s meeting also featured testimony from Jennifer Bates and Darryl Richardson, organizers of a defeated union campaign at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., as they expressed concerns about worker safety and hiring practices.
They also introduced proposals urging Amazon to elect a warehouse worker to its board of directors and assess its impact on racial equity.
The proposals and nine others failed to garner a majority of votes despite receiving support from shareholder-advisory firms.