Andy Jassy is Taking Over From Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO; Who Exactly Is He?

Key Facts

  • Andy Jassy is set to take over as the new CEO of Amazon from Jeff Bezos.
  • He initially joined the company as a marketing manager in 1997.
  • From marketing manager, he was able to work his way up to technical assistant to Jeff Bezos.
  • He and Bezos joined hands to establish the company’s cloud computing division, AWS, in 2000.
  • AWS is now the most lucrative arm of Amazon and accounts for more than 50% of its profits.
  • Jassy is married to a fashion designer, Elana, and they have two kids.
  • He has lent his voice in support of LGBT rights and racial injustice issues.

The name Andy Jassy may not really resonate with most of us right now but we guarantee you that this is one man you will be hearing about more and more as the days go by, thanks to his impending take over as the CEO of e-commerce giants, Amazon. Originally established in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, Amazon has grown from primarily an online book store into a global e-commerce giant. The company employs 1.3 million people and is now worth over $1 trillion. A huge reason behind this is its cloud computing and web services division headed by Jassy.

Jassy has turned Amazon Web Service (AWS) into a multi-billion venture that accounts for about half of Amazon’s overall profits. It gives them the funds with which to pursue their ambitious strides in areas such as AI, logistics, video streaming, and hardware, and is now known as the engine room of Amazon. Given such feats, it is not surprising that Jassy has been appointed as substantive CEO. As we now await his impending coronation, let us take you behind the scenes and give you a personal portrait of the incoming CEO.

Andy Jassy Has Jewish Origins and Holds Multiple Degrees From Harvard

Before he became a big shot in the tech industry, Andy Jassy (Andrew R. Jassy) was just a little boy who was born on the 13th day of January 1968 in the affluent Scarsdale suburb of New York City. His father’s name is Everett while his mother’s name is Margery. He also has at least one sibling, a sister named Kathy Savitt, who is also a techprenuer and former Chief Marketing Officer of Yahoo. The Jassys have Hungarian and Jewish origins and Andy was accordingly brought up in the faith.

For his education, Andy Jassy attended Scarsdale High and was so exceptional that he got into Harvard for his bachelor’s degree. He graduated with high grades and delved straight into his career, joining a collectibles company as a project manager. Jassy spent some time in this role before deciding to go into business for himself. He joined hands with a colleague but that collaboration could not stop the venture from failing. Following such a disappointment, Jassy realized that he needed to learn the nitty-gritty of the business world. He went back to his alma mater and obtained an MBA in 1997. That same year, he was recruited by Amazon.

He Joined Amazon in 1997 and Spearhead The Transformation of Amazon Web Service into a Multibillion Business

Upon joining Amazon, Andy Jassy served as a marketing manager in their music and CD sales division. He flourished in the role, thanks to the fact that he was a huge fan of music, and soon caught the attention of the highest echelons of the company. He was subsequently appointed a technical assistant to the CEO, Jeff Bezos himself. Such close proximity meant that the two rubbed minds together on several aspects of the company’s operations. One of the projects that the duo explored was the feasibility of offering web hosting and cloud computing services to other companies.

The project had already started on a small scale but was having teething problems. Jassy figured that these problems could be solved by simplifying its operational technology (such as API) and Bezos immediately tasked him with heading Amazon Web Services. AWS had a pretty unimpressive launch in 2000 but since then, it has grown to become the market leader in the industry. As the likes of Google and Microsoft struggle to play catch up, Jassy’s AWS now powers a huge number of the apps, services, and websites that we all use on a daily basis.

Some of their biggest clients include the likes of Zoom, Spotify, Uber, MacDonald’s, Netflix, Pinterest, Slack, Lyft, and Snowflake. They have also been patronized by the Democratic National Committee and even the CIA. AWS now holds about 30% of the cloud computing industry and generates multi-billion dollar sales each year. This accounts for about half of Amazon’s annual profits; profits that have been used to finance the company’s other ambitious projects. Such impressive feats saw Jassy named the FT Person of the Year in 2016. That same year, he was also named the substantive CEO of AWS. He retained that role till his new appointment as the overall CEO of Amazon.

Andy Jassy Has a Net Worth of $394 Million and Owns a Small Stake in the NHL Side, Seattle Kraken

Having joined Amazon in 1997, it means that Andy Jassy has been with the company for about 22 years now. One would expect such longevity to translate into significant wealth and this is the exact case as the incoming CEO now has a net worth of $394 million. His wealth is down to his salaries but more importantly the stock awards he has received from his employers. Jassy typically earns from $150,000 to $180,000 as his base salary per annum. He then gets stock awards which propel his annual take home to millions of dollars.

For instance, he earned $19.7 million in 2018 while back in 2016, he earned $35.61 million which saw him beat out even CEO Jeff Bezos to become the highest-paid Amazon staff of that year. With regards to stocks, Jassy holds about 85,000 Amazon shares which translates into $287.3 million.

Away from Amazon, Andy Jassy also has a small stake in the NHL side, Seattle Kraken. He was instrumental in bringing the team to Seattle and his participation is as much a business as a passion one as he is an avid sports fan.

Andy Jassy
Jassy with one of his kids Image Source

Jassy is Married to Fashion Designer Elana Caplan and They Have Two Children

When he is not busy handling things at AWS, Andy Jassy is most likely to be found with his lovely family. The incoming Amazon CEO is married to a fellow Jewish person, Elana Ochelle Caplan. Originally from California, Elana is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. She is a now fashion designer for a Seattle-based clothing retailer, Eddie Bauer. She also has a side gig as a marketing manager for Amazon.

Jassy and Elana ran in the same circles while growing up, as their fathers were colleagues, and later began dating. They tied the knot the same year that Andy joined Amazon and have been together ever since. The couple now has two kids and makes their home in a $6.7 million estate in Santa Monica. The 2-acre property features four bedrooms and five bathrooms. There is also a library, a plunge pool, and an outdoor kitchen with a built-in BBQ and fireplace.

He Has Supported LGBTQ and Racial Justice Issues

Andy Jassy doesn’t shy away from speaking out about topical issues in society. The Amazon executive has lent his time, voice, and resources to issues that affect minorities. Following the shooting of a black woman, Breonna Taylor, in her own home in 2020, Jassy joined the millions of persons using social media to call out racial inequalities and demand for justice. The incoming CEO has also spoken out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the LGBTQ community. It remains to be seen though whether he would be as vocal when he takes over as Amazon CEO.

With regards to philanthropy, Jassy is a board member and financier of Rainer Prep Charter School in Seattle. Catering to 5th through to 8th graders, Rainer Prep provides free quality education for pupils of color.

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