Because of his work with AWS, Jassy was on a very short list of potential replacements for Bezos. In 2016, he was promoted to CEO of AWS, while Jeff Wilke, who was Amazon’s retail chief, was made CEO of the company’s worldwide consumer businesses. The move was seen as a way of sizing up the two to determine who might take Bezos’s place when he eventually stepped aside as the company’s top executive. But in August, Wilke announced his plan to retire in 2021, leaving Jassy as the sole apparent heir to Bezos’s throne. Jassy will officially take over the position in the third quarter of this year, the company said in its announcement.

As for Bezos, he will transition to the role of executive chair and spend more of his time focusing on things other than Amazon’s day-to-day operations, such as his space company Blue Origin, the charitable funds he has founded, and the Washington Post newspaper, according to a published email to Amazon employees. “Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future,” he wrote.

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