Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s inspirational letter to employees

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced that he will step down in the third quarter of 2021 and be replaced by Andy Jassy, who is currently the head of Amazon’s cloud computing unit.

After Bezos graduated from Princeton University in 1986, he started to work at a fintech telecommunications start-up, Fitel, where he built a network for international trade.

After leaving Fitel, he transitioned into the banking industry and financial industries and became a senior vice-president at the age of 30 at the hedge fund D. E. Shaw.

Bezos left D. E. Shaw in 1994 to start an online bookstore in his garage named Cadabra. He later changed the name to Amazon because its stars with the letter “A”.

In 1998, he diversified beyond books and started to sell music and video products. Not long after that Amazon further expanded to include general consumer goods.

In 2002, Bezos led Amazon to launch Amazon Web Services, which compiled data from weather channels and website traffic.

Despite financial challenges in the early 2000s, the company continued its growth and became the world’s largest online shopping retailer.

This growth helped to make Amazon the world’s most valuable listed company and propelled Bezos to the top of the world rich list.

Throughout this journey, Bezos led the company as CEO, which means him stepping down is truly an end of an era.

He penned an inspiration letter to staff to announce his resignation, which is provided in full below.

Fellow Amazonians:

I’m excited to announce that this Q3 I’ll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board and Andy Jassy will become CEO. In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence.

This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name. The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, “What’s the internet?” Blessedly, I haven’t had to explain that in a long while.

Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, 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 that happen? Invention. Invention is the root of our success. We’ve done crazy things together, and then made them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalized recommendations, Prime’s insanely-fast shipping, Just Walk Out shopping, the Climate Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, infrastructure cloud computing, Career Choice, and much more. If you get it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. And that yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive.

I don’t know of another company with an invention track record as good as Amazon’s, and I believe we are at our most inventive right now. I hope you are as proud of our inventiveness as I am. I think you should be.

As Amazon became large, we decided to use our scale and scope to lead on important social issues. Two high-impact examples: our $15 minimum wage and the Climate Pledge. In both cases, we staked out leadership positions and then asked others to come along with us. In both cases, it’s working. Other large companies are coming our way. I hope you’re proud of that as well.

I find my work meaningful and fun. I get to work with the smartest, most talented, most ingenious teammates. When times have been good, you’ve been humble. When times have been tough, you’ve been strong and supportive, and we’ve made each other laugh. It is a joy to work on this team.

As much as I still tap dance into 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 livelihoods. Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else. As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions. I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.

Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future. We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish. We serve individuals and enterprises, and we’ve pioneered two complete industries and a whole new class of devices. We are leaders in areas as varied as machine learning and logistics, and if an Amazonian’s idea requires yet another new institutional skill, we’re flexible enough and patient enough to learn it.

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

Jeff

Now read: Jeff Bezos to step down as Amazon CEO

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments

Recommended

Share this article
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s inspirational letter to employees