Amazon transition: Jeff Bezos to become company's executive chair, Andy Jassy new CEO July 5

We now know when Amazon's Jeff Bezos will officially step down as CEO of the company he founded.

Andy Jassy will assume the CEO position on July 5, the company confirmed to USA TODAY on Wednesday. Bezos will move into the role of executive chair at that time.

“We chose that date because it’s sentimental for me, the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago,” Bezos said at Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting, which was held virtually Wednesday.

Like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Bezos is closely associated with his company's brand. In a statement detailing the announcement in February, Bezos said now is the "optimal time" to make the transition in leadership.

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“If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn," said Bezos. That yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive."

In a separate email to employees sent at the time of the February announcement, Bezos said along with working as executive chair, he would "focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives."

Jassy had previously worked as CEO of Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud computing service that helps power sites like Netflix and Spotify. Jassy started working at Amazon in 1997, only a couple years after the company was founded.

Like Bill Gates, who began his shift away from Microsoft in 2000 but stayed on as chairman until 2014, Bezos is likely to remain an influential figure at Amazon. 

Though Bezos stepped away from the day-to-day workings in recent years, dabbling in other ventures from a private space company Blue Origin to The Washington Post, he became more involved again last spring during the pandemic.

"Jeff will be the executive chair on the board. He will be involved in many large ... important decisions: acquisitions, things like strategy and going into grocery and other things. Jeff has always been involved in that and that is where he will keep his time focused on his new role," Amazon's chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky told investors.

Contributing: Jessica Guynn and Mike Snider, USA TODAY