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April 8, 2016
Amazon has appointed Andy Jassy to CEO of Amazon Web Services. Jassy formerly served as vice president of AWS, the fast-growing cloud division.
The appointment comes as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a letter to shareholders that he expects AWS sales to hit $10 billion this year.
In the letter Bezos notes how “Marketplace, Prime and AWS are examples of bold bets at Amazon that worked, and they’ve become [its] three big pillars.”
“And as we’ve grown as a company and those three big pillars have also grown, we’ve decided it makes sense to change the titles of the leaders of those businesses—Jeff Wilke and Andy Jassy—to CEO Worldwide Consumer and CEO Amazon Web Services. This is not a reorganization but rather a recognition of the roles they’ve played for a while,” Amazon said in a blog post on Thursday.
Andy Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and was part of the formation of Amazon Web Services, “working as a ‘shadow’ to Bezos, a role somewhere between technical assistant and chief of staff,” according to a report by the Financial Times. Under his leadership, AWS brought in $2.4 billion in revenue in Q4 2015, a 69.37 percent year-over-year increase. For all of 2015, AWS revenue hit $7.88 billion.
While Amazon’s announcement of the title change for Jassy brushes it off as “recognition” of the role he’s played for a while it shows the company’s commitment to treating AWS as a separate business, and supporting it as such. After all, the company is not without its critics, so it will need a CEO to answer them.
For now, Jassy told the Financial Times that the “public perception of Amazon is often out of sync with what is happening inside the company.”
“We’re trying to build a business that outlasts all of us,” he said.
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