Washington: The founder of the world’s largest online marketplace Amazon, Jeff Bezos on Tuesday announced that he would be stepping down as the CEO of the global company he built from a garage startup into one of the most valuable firms. World’s richest person Jeff Bezos wrote a letter to his employees stating he would remain “still engaged in important Amazon initiatives” but will be handing over the chief executive role to Andy Jazzy, who currently heads the Amazon Web Series. Also Read - Elon Musk Reclaims Position as World's Richest Man For Second Time in 2021

“I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring,” Bezos wrote and added, “I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.” Also Read - Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Reclaims Title of World’s Richest Person after Elon Musk Loses $4.6 Billion

In the letter to his employees, Bezos further wrote that he will shift his focus more towards philanthropic initiatives, including the Day One Fund, Bezos Earth Fund and other similar ventures in space exploration and journalism. Notably, Bezos owns The Washington Post newspaper, as well as the private space firm Blue Origin. Also Read - In a First, Amazon To Set Up Amazon Fire Stick Manufacturing Unit in Chennai

The 57-year-old Bezos had founded Amazon Inc in Seattle from his garage in 1994. The firm started off as an e-retailing website for books, but eventually expanded to other sectors like electronics, software, cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, apparel, furniture, groceries, video games, toys, and jewellery. In 2015, it surpassed Walmart as the world’s most valuable company by market capitalisation in the US.

His successor Jassy joined Amazon as a marketing manager in 1997 and founded AWS in 2003.

“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,” Bezos noted.

“Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition,” he said.

The Amazon founder said he would be transitioning out of the role of executive chair by the second half of this year, handing it over to Jassy in the third quarter.

Bezos made the announcement as Amazon reported a blowout holiday quarter with profits more than doubled to $7.2 billion and revenue jumping 44 per cent to $125.6 billion – as the coronavirus-infused lockdowns led to a massive surge in online sales around the world.

“Looking ahead, we maintain our view that Amazon will emerge from the pandemic as a bigger and stronger business,” Neil Saunders of the research firm GlobalData said.

As of Tuesday, Amazon’s market value stood at $1.69 trillion, while the personal fortune of Jeff Bezos is estimated at about $196 billion.