Who is Andy Jassy? Sports Fanatic Who Took AWS to Dizzying Heights to Replace Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO

A graduate of Harvard Business School, Jassy joined Amazon in 1997, the same year when he married Elana Rochelle Caplan, with who he has two children.

Andy Jassy, the man who founded Amazon's AWS and then propelled it into the world's biggest cloud service provider, is set to take over the reigns of the e-commerce giant after Jeff Bezon announced on Monday that he would be stepping down as the CEO of the company. Jassy's name may not come as a big surprise to many given that he has been working closely with Bezos for more than two decades and is considered one of his most trusted lieutenants.

His co-workers describe him as a friendly boss, who is easygoing despite being a master at striking professional deals. Besides, Jassy, 53, is an avid sports lover, who built a sports bar in his basement, which he calls HelmetHeads. That said, Bezos, 57, won't be completely detached with the company and will assume the role of executive chair of Amazon's board.

Stepping into the Big Shoes

Andy Jassy
Andy Jassy YouTube Grab

Jassy, as his colleagues describe, maintains a low profile outside his work, but over the past decade has been the most important person in the tech industry. "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," said Bezos.

Although Bezos' decision to step down as the CEO surprised many, Jassy's elevation to the top wasn't big news among the company executive. In fact, his appointment was quite well-secured after Bezos' other deputy, Jeff Wilke, who headed Amazon's retail business, announced last August that he was retiring.

That said, Jassy's success story can make anyone envious. Amazon Web Services, which he founded in 2003, has changed the entire technology ballgame. The success of the cloud service platform has reshaped how companies today buy technology, by simplifying computing services into their component pieces and offering them essentially for rent over the internet.

Amazon's AWS has since been playing a major role in driving its revenues. Jassy's appointment comes on the same day when Amazon announced its quarterly results wherein AWS pulled in $12.7 billion in sales, making the unit a $50 billion business on an annual basis.

Rising up the Ranks

Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (Representational Picture) Wikimedia Commons

Jassy has led AWS since before the launch of its first major services in 2006. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Jassy joined Amazon in 1997. Early in his career, he served as the first technical adviser to Bezos, a role equivalent to the chief of staff that allowed him to sit in on all of the top executive's meetings and come up with suggestions on a wide range of issues.

Interestingly, Jassy was also the man responsible for pulling the plug on Parler, making the decision in a meeting session known as The Chop. According to a report in Insider, before Microsoft appointed Satya Nadella as CEO in 2014, Jassy was approached by the then-CEO, Steve Ballmer, for taking up the job.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos Wikimedia Commons

In 2003, Jassy founded AWS and became its CEO in 2016. Jassy is also known as an occasional micromanager on projects close to his heart, a trait he has in common with Bezos. Besides, company insiders reportedly claim that his persona is much like Bezos' which would help the coming going forward.

Big Challenge Ahead

Jassy's promotion comes with a lot of responsibilities and challenges. Being Bezos' right-hand-man, he took AWS to dizzying heights as the division's CEO, a role which has earned him an estimated $377 million. Jassy was paid a total of $348,809 in 2019, according to Amazon's most recent proxy statements.

Andy Jassy
Andy Jassy YouTube Grab

Besides he owns around 85,000 shares in the company, valued at $287.3 million as of Tuesday, according to CNBC. As of November 2020, his net worth was estimated at $394 million.

That said, Jassy is known to be a very reserve person. He is also known to be perfect family man. Having grown up in Scarsdale, he attended Scarsdale High School. In 1997, the same year he joined Amazon, he married Elana Rochelle Caplan. The couple has two children and lives in Seattle.

Over the years, Jassy has also shown a passion for social and philanthropic issues not often associated with Bezos, who has similar inclinations. Besides, Jassy is also a minority owner of the NHL's Seattle Kraken.

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