Wednesday 3 February 2021 6:29 am

Jeff Bezos to step down as Amazon chief executive as quarterly sales hit $125bn

Jeff Bezos will step down as chief executive of Amazon this year, moving to the new role of executive chair.

Amazon today said Bezos will transition to the new job in the third quarter and will be replaced as chief executive by Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon Web Services.

It came as the ecommerce giant pulled in revenue of more than $125bn in the final quarter of the year.

The figures mark the first time Amazon has earned more than $100bn in a single quarter and come in ahead of expectations.

Net profit increased to $7.2bn in the fourth quarter from $3.3bn the previous year and ahead of forecasts.

“When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention,” Bezos said in a statement.

“Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.”

Amazon’s revenue was boosted by a sharp increase in sales on its Prime Day event, which was pushed back from the summer to October last year.

In addition to its core ecommerce business, the Silicon Valley tech giant has cashed in on higher demand for its cloud services during the pandemic.

Hilding Anderson, head of retail for North America and retail analyst at Publicis Sapient said Amazon’s results were “somewhat overshadowed” by Bezos’ decision to step aside.

“However, Amazon’s earnings broke records again this quarter, crossing the $100bn line for the first time,” she said.

“The broad shift in behaviours caused by COVID-19, new fast-growing technologies like ecommerce and cloud, as well as disruptive innovations like Alexa, and the promise of Amazon Go technology has all led to this milestone moment. “