Monday, March 1, 2021

Jeff Bezos’s farewell letter as CEO of Amazon: “It’s still Day 1”

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The president and founder of Amazon, the billionaire Jeff Bezos, announced on Tuesday, 2, that it is starting a transition process and that he will step down from the third quarter of this year. Bezos will remain at the company, serving as executive chairman of the board of directors.

Bezos informed employees of the online retail giant in a farewell letter, sent by email.

“Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep and exhausting responsibility. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to focus on anything else. As CEO, I will continue to be involved in important Amazon initiatives, but I will also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, the Washington Post and my other passions. I’ve never had more energy and it’s not about retiring. I am very excited about the impact that I think these organizations can have. ”

Read below the complete letter, translated by EXAME:

“Friends of Amazon,

I am pleased to announce that in this third quarter I will transition to Amazon’s chairman and Andy Jassy will become the CEO. As chairman of the board, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and new initiatives. Andy is well known within the company and has been with Amazon for almost as long as I have. He will be a remarkable leader and has all my confidence.

This journey began about 27 years ago. Amazon was just an idea and had no name. The question I was asked most often at that time was: “What is the internet?” Fortunately, I haven’t had to explain this in a long time.

Today, we employ 1.3 million talented and dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognized as one of the most successful companies in the world.

How did this happen? Invention. The invention is the root of our success. We did crazy things together and then made them normal. We were pioneers in consumer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, incredibly fast Prime plan shipping, Just Walk Out model purchases, weather commitments, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, cloud computing infrastructure, career choices and a lot more. If you get it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing becomes the standard. People yawn. And that yawn is the highest compliment an inventor can receive.

I don’t know of another company with a history of inventions as good as that of Amazon, and I believe that we are in our most inventive moment. I hope you are as proud of our creativity as I am. I think you should be.

As Amazon became big, we decided to use our scale and scope to lead on important social issues. Two examples of high impact: our minimum wage of $ 15 an hour and Climate Commitment. In both cases, we demarcate leadership positions and then ask others to accompany us. In both cases, it is working. Other big companies are coming our way. I hope you are proud of that too.

I find my work meaningful and fun. I work with the most intelligent, talented and resourceful teammates. In times of plenty, you were humble. When we had difficult times, you were strong and supportive, and we made each other laugh. It is a joy to work on this team.

As much as I’m still in the office, I’m excited about this transition. Millions of customers depend on us for our services and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihood. Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep and exhausting responsibility. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to focus on anything else. As CEO, I will continue to be involved in important Amazon initiatives, but I will also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, the Blue Origin company, the Washington Post and my other passions. I’ve never had more energy and it’s not about retiring. I am very excited about the impact that I think these organizations can have.

Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future. We are accelerating in all directions, just as the world needs us. We have things in development that will continue to surprise. We serve individuals and businesses, and have pioneered two completely new sectors and a whole new class of devices. We are leaders in areas as varied as machine learning and logistics, and if an idea from Amazon requires another new institutional skill, we are flexible and patient enough to learn it.

Keep inventing and don’t despair when the idea seems crazy at first. Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1.

Jeff”

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Jeff Bezos's farewell letter as CEO of Amazon: “It's still Day 1”