We just got word that jeff bezos is stepping down as ceo or, in other words, really stepping up to executive chairman uh he’s been 27 years at the helm of building and becoming uh the richest man in the world. Despite actually having a divorce, so he’d actually be way richer than just being the richest man in the world, based on his current net worth, which i think is around 200 billion dollars. Anyway, he is uh announcing after 27 years. He is transitioning to executive chairman in q3 of this year so summer of 2021. um. He leaves a nice note here. Uh talking about really using the word invent, probably uses the word invent eight to ten times in here all about uh. How did you know how to how did we become so big invention? Invention is the root of our success. We’Ve done crazy things, we’ve invented all these things uh, i don’t know of any company of another company with an invention track record as good as amazon’s. I think we’re the most inventive right now. I hope you are proud of our inventiveness. As i am uh, i think you should be. Guy loves the word invent uh, and certainly we can. We can let him use that one pretty strongly because he deserves it. That’S for sure uh building, one of the biggest and best platform businesses. Yes, they are a monopoly, but let’s give the guy credit for an amazing entrepreneurial story.

The reasons why he says he’s doing this is because he really wants to go and uh as amazon became large. We decided to use our scale um where’s that piece here. He wants to go work on some other initiatives. Basically, as 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. One fund, the bezos earth fund, blue origin, his uh spacex competitor, the washington post and my other passions. I’Ve never had more energy and this isn’t about retiring i’m super passionate and uh the impact i can have on these other organizations so uh. Here it is here’s the ending keep, inventing and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy, remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass, it remains day one um who did jeff decide to put in his place. Well, he put a guy named andy jassy into place. Andy has basically worked his entire career at amazon, um out of i think hbs. He came to amazon uh. Nearly as long he said, jeff said: he’s he’s been at amazon nearly as long as jeff has been there. Basically andy’s story is: he was chief of staff kind of they called him kind of a shadow to jeff and going back to 2004 um. What what andy is most recently running at amazon is aws. He is officially the ceo of aws now becoming the ceo of amazon um, but actually in 2003.

It is that they were at an off site and andy was really kind of pushing to say, hey. Why don’t we spin off what is now known as aws? Why don’t we spin off all this back end infrastructure and like couldn’t, we make this into its own business and um. Look our engineers are having all these challenges. Spinning up these uh, you know these server assets for every one of their new projects. You know um, this is this, need, you know, is probably happening beyond just our own engineers, hey what if we made this its own business unit um and in in you know, i’m sure it took a little bit more uh negotiating and explaining than that, but ultimately Andy is the guy that had a very close relationship with jeff for for decades. Now andy is the guy that basically uh championed the spin off of aws as its own business unit. By the way amazon 2003, they they hadn’t even been around a decade um. Yes, you know they, their annual revenues were at about four billion dollars at that time, they’re still right losing money. Everyone says: amazon’s been losing money for for years and years and years, but amazon actually was just free cash flowing and yes technically they looked like they weren’t profitable, but the business was a lot stronger than many people gave them credit for five 10 years ago. Anyway. Andy, if you think about who jeff put in now uh in in the reins of ceo jeff’s whole letter, is about inventing and he put the guy in charge of amazon, who literally said yeah.

You know we haven’t even been around 10 years, yeah we’re doing three. Four billion dollars in revenue, but hey can i go. Do this other thing over here and so it turns out now. Aws um is actually you know the thing driving the most profit at amazon, um it’s, the number one. Obviously, cloud storage player with microsoft, um somewhat distant number two, but catching up google funny enough. Just literally before this news was announced for the first time has disclosed uh how their their google’s cloud business is doing and they’re losing a bunch of money, they’re losing billions of dollars in their cloud business and will continue to invest in that into the future. But it goes to show the winner take all dynamic you’re, seeing in cloud storage for something that you would have thought was more a linear utility. They absolutely have kind of gathered a winner, take all dynamic around cloud storage with all the kind of apps and services that are built on top of aws and now uh. What is microsoft’s doing with azure anyway um. I think what jeff is really making clear with his letter and with making andy the ceo officially is that inventing and and innovating, and really pushing the limits on new business models and taking these risks. That, ultimately, is the key long term risk. I would say, of jeff stepping down right, like amazon’s, going to be in a great position for the next few years.

They’Ve already got amazon business going they’ve already got multiple other. You know they kind of call them. The four or five horsemen for them they’ve already got multiple other businesses behind just amazon marketplace and aws in true platform, conglomerate monopoly fashion to you know to to uh to be fast growth, businesses in inside the amazon arsenal, so that stuff’s moving, i mean amazon business Is is a a 20 plus billion dollar gmv business and growing like gangbusters, so um that’s going to do well, irrespective of whether or not jeffer or andy? Is the ceo of amazon it’s really that culture and i think, that’s what jeff is getting at? Is he wants to make sure uh that innovative spirit that day one mentality that um a drive to uh, create new businesses and push the boundaries and take these risks? That’S, what you’re saying i hope, you’re proud of us, i think you should be um – is not lost with him rolling into the executive chairman role, so that all makes sense to me. That’S that’s the biggest risk that i would have said comes about with with jeff stepping down, although andy’s already been operating um in a in a pseudo ceo role for a while now so um this isn’t as stark of a shift, as one may think. Looking at the news headlines, so um in all reality, it’s kind of just you know everything is per usual over at amazon to all everyone on the outside.

It looks like oh wow. This is a big shift, but when you talk to people over there, i’d say everyone would say yeah, you know it’s kind of obvious but um interesting. Nonetheless, i would say that if you look at uh some of the other ceo successors to tech monopolies that were led by their founder – and you look at how those ceos have done this, i would say, is their biggest blind spot right. You you kind of bring in these professional managers to run a tech monopoly and the professional manager they they run the existing business really well. They dial that in they scale it, they rip margin out of it, but can they invest in the future? Can they invest in those spin offs? Can they invest in those new business models that might be the future of the company five ten years from now? How do you balance the here and now, with that long term, invention, innovation timeline, whatever you want to call it? Um, that to me is the really hard balancing act for particularly for those kind of professional managers that we’ve seen rise up into let’s, say: apple and google type companies, um, microsoft and but you’ve seen you’ve seen kind of a slate of performance where satya has done Very well championing azure being the number two cloud behind aws here: um still mixed results. Still, you know kind of waiting to see what um, what a additional platform businesses apple can pile on um or google for that matter, but yeah you know: it’s uh it’s not easy to do the new, the disruptive, the the risky bets, and how do you do Them properly, without just blowing a bunch of money, um very difficult balance to strike.

So i really like this, this move here with andy and and we wish him the best and and jeff a happy executive chairman role, that’s our first emergency press conference on winner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W05ktfNAQhw