While Jeff Bezos is still generally seen as the face of the behemoth tech company he founded, he hasn’t been Amazon’s CEO for almost two years. Andy Jassy, best known for launching the immensely successful Amazon Web Services, is now in charge.
It might seem as if Jassy was destined for a smooth ride at the helm, but his time as the chief has been anything but.
A big promise
When Bezos first announced he’d be handing over the reins to Jassy, he did so with an overtly optimistic message.
“Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future,” he told employees. “We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish.”
In one sense, he was correct … many people inside and outside of the company are indeed astonished by the downward trajectory that has defined Jassy’s tenure as CEO.
The end of an era
For much of Amazon’s existence, the company seemed to be increasing by every measure available. From the number of items it sold to the speed at which it sold them to the various other aspects of the economy (streaming content, smart devices, etc.) that it continued to dominate, it seemed as if there was no stopping its growth.
Unfortunately, whether due to economic concerns, the new chief’s approach to the job, or some combination thereof, the Jassy era has seemingly reversed Amazon’s promising trend.
Last year marked its slowest rate of growth since it became a publicly traded company and its stock price is down a staggering 44% since Jassy took over as CEO.
The result? Layoffs that have cost roughly 27,000 jobs this year alone and cost-cutting measures that mean many Amazon-owned stores will be shut down.