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Jeff Bezos has been halfway out the door at Amazon for a while

That’s what Amazon (AMZN) chief monetary officer Brian Olsavsky instructed analysts on the corporate’s earnings name Tuesday — a name that Bezos wasn’t even on, regardless of the announcement moments earlier that he can be stepping down as CEO later this yr, with Andy Jassy as his successor. (Bezos will stay as Amazon’s govt chairman.)

However Bezos’ absence on the decision most likely does not matter. Amazon’s inventory was flat in early buying and selling Wednesday. Robust earnings and income for the fourth quarter and a wholesome outlook for 2021 clearly helped soften the blow of the Bezos bombshell.

Plus, Amazon analysts and traders are already accustomed to the truth that Bezos, who personally owns The Washington Submit and house firm Blue Origin, has many different pursuits.

The final time that the Amazon founder spoke on an analyst earnings name was in April 2009. Bezos has appeared at a number of annual shareholder occasions lately although, most just lately at a digital assembly in Might 2020. However Amazon hasn’t been the Jeff Bezos present for a while now.

How Amazon can keep thriving even without Jeff Bezos

That is undoubtedly as a result of Amazon has its fingers in a LOT of various pies. It is not simply an internet retailer. It has a bodily presence with its personal brick and mortar branded shops and it additionally owns the Complete Meals grocery chain.

It is usually a streaming media big, and it’s making larger inroads into healthcare following its 2019 buy of on-line pharmacy PillPack.

However Amazon’s actual cash maker is Amazon Net Companies, or AWS. That is the cloud big that Jassy leads. AWS will get paid to host web sites for high firms; Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Netflix and Verizon are all AWS prospects.

AWS posted an working revenue of $13.5 billion in 2020, accounting for almost 60% of all of Amazon’s working revenue. So it is solely pure that Jassy, who has been with Amazon since 1997, will succeed Bezos.

“Though not as acquainted a face to most people as Bezos, Jassy is exceptionally nicely regarded by the funding group,” stated Michael Levine, an analyst with Pivotal Analysis Group, in a report Wednesday.

The truth that Bezos is staying put and getting the fancier title of govt chairman additionally seemingly signifies that Amazon won’t be altering its technique all that a lot below Jassy.

And why ought to it? Amazon is now one of many largest firms on the earth, value almost $1.7 trillion. The inventory is buying and selling close to an all-time excessive and is up greater than 500% up to now 5 years — a lot better than the broader market. What’s that they are saying about if it ain’t broke, do not repair it?

“We anticipate Andy Jassy as CEO to imply a continuation of Amazon’s key themes of delighting the shopper and executing as scale builds/compounds in all of its companies,” stated UBS analyst Eric Sheridan in a report Wednesday.

After all, there are dangers any time an iconic CEO steps down. Howard Schultz was compelled to return to the Starbucks (SBUX) CEO function in 2008 after stepping down in 2000, earlier than he lastly handed the reins on to Kevin Johnson in 2016.
However it most likely helps that Bezos is will nonetheless be closely concerned with Amazon. He might help Jassy with longer-term strategic planning, a lot as former Google/Alphabet (GOOGL)CEO Eric Schmidt did from 2011 by means of 2017 when he remained as chairman after founder Larry Web page took over as CEO in 2011.
The Bezos-Jassy dynamic might additionally resemble the C-suite dynamic at Disney (DIS) now, the place former long-time CEO Robert Iger stays chairman and former parks and resorts chief Bob Chapek is now CEO.

“Though Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO, we imagine he’ll stay integral to Amazon’s technique, and the incoming CEO Andy Jassy is a long-time govt on the firm so management will stay sturdy,” stated Mizuho Securities USA analyst James Lee in a report Wednesday.

The one slight change Lee sees going ahead is “a possible emphasis in direction of the cloud enterprise.”

In different phrases, Amazon traders might be forgiven if they’re buzzing an outdated track lyric from The Who on Wednesday. “Meet the brand new boss. Similar because the outdated boss.”

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