You might be wondering why I haven’t mentioned Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) blowout earnings in the above headline? Well, if you must know, it was the usual levels of outrageously good:
- Earnings: $14.09 vs $7.23 per share forecast.
- Revenue: $125.56 billion vs $119.7 billion forecast — that’s a 44% increase YoY, a ridiculous figure for a company of this size!
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But that’s not what we want to talk about today! Instead, we must focus on the shock news that CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, will be stepping down from his position later this year. The second-richest man on the planet will focus on “new products and early initiatives” in his new role as Executive Chairman, including the Day One Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, The Washington Post, and his private space company Blue Origin.
Is Amazon stock going to tank?
Amazon has become one of the most important — and richest — companies in the world, employing 1.3 million people and impacting our day-to-day lives via e-commerce, cloud computing, and more. Bezos was the puppet master behind all of this growth, and while we still have doubts as to whether he is truly plotting world domination, it is understandable that investors will be feeling quite uncertain about a heretofore “perfect” stock.
Fear not though for, like any classic superhero film, the gauntlet has been handed down to a worthy successor in the form of long-time right-hand man, Andy Jassy. The current CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been around since the beginning, joining in 1997 and building AWS — possibly Amazon’s most important product — from the ground up. AWS saw sales surge 30% year-over-year to $45 billion in 2020, with operating profit hitting $13.5 billion — that’s 60% of the total operating profits of Amazon.
But let’s not forget about the rest of Amazon’s business, most notably e-commerce. Even though Jassy has been all about the cloud, he was still with Bezos selling goods online for years prior to this, beginning his Amazon journey as a marketing manager. He has the experience, as well as the ear of Bezos, to fall back on if needed.
And if you’re worried that the brains of the operation have departed, then let Bezos’s parting letter to employees be a reminder of the company’s motto:
“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.”
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