Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky used the company's earnings call on Tuesday to reassure investors that Jeff Bezos, who is stepping down from day-to-day operations of the company he founded in 1993, is "not leaving," but rather is "getting a new job" and will remain engaged in future decision-making as executive chairman.
On the call, Olsavsky announced that Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy will replace Bezos in the third quarter.
Bezos will maintain his hand in the company's key strategic moves, Olsavsky said, including major acquisitions. "Jeff has always been involved with that, and that's where he'll keep his time focused on in his new role," he said.
Jassy, who has been with the company since 1997, will oversee day-to-day operations once Bezos steps down, allowing him to "put his imprint on Amazon," Olsavsky said.
Jassy founded AWS in 2003 and was named its CEO in 2016. He has led the cloud vendor through continued market dominance; AWS commands 45% of worldwide IaaS revenue, generating double the revenue of its next closest competitor in the cloud space, Microsoft, according to CIO Dive.
Jassy is "not only a visionary leader, but a strong operator," Olsavsky said "He's got a great track record of developing multiple businesses within Amazon, not the least of which is AWS, arguably the most profitable, important technical technology company in the world."
As CEO, Jassy's experience and motivation will "certainly carry through the culture and the vision and the invention factory that Amazon is, and we'll take that to the next level," Olsavsky added.
Olsavsky declined to share who would replace Jassy as CEO of AWS, but said Amazon as a whole maintains "highly effective succession planning processes," adding, "the board of directors obviously takes that very seriously."
Five years ago, Amazon instated a two-CEO structure, as Olsavsky put it, in which Bezos headed consumer business and Jassy headed AWS. "I think there's a lot of bench strength within Amazon," he said.
Jassy replacing Bezos is comparable to Apple CEO Tim Cook replacing Steve Jobs, Andrew Lipsman, an eMarketer analyst, told Fortune.
"Although people questioned whether Cook would be a worthy successor to Jobs, Cook's expertise as a skilled operator — akin to Jassy — proved instrumental in leading Apple to record sales," he said. "The whole ethos of the company, how they use data, how they are so deliberate in how they go after pockets of opportunity, I think Andy Jassy is a big part of it."
Jassy may also ease Amazon's tension with the regulators already launching antitrust investigations into Google and Facebook, Ron Josey, an analyst at JMP Securities, told Fortune. Jassy's appointment may "give Amazon a fresh face in Washington D.C. at a time when Bezos has become a lightning rod."
Josey likened Jassy's promotion to that of Sundar Pichai at Google, who replaced much higher-profile Larry Page in 2015.