Leadership and CEO Succession

This post is by Reid Hoffman from Reid Hoffman

Recently, Jeff Bezos announced that he would be stepping down as CEO of Amazon, the iconic blitzscaling company that he has led since 1994 – nearly 27 years. Andy Jassy will be taking over as CEO, and Jeff will be Executive Chairman.

For transparency, I want to be clear that I have no inside information on Jeff’s decision to relinquish his CEO role. Jeff and I know each other, but we haven’t spoken about this topic. What I say is only speculative, but hopefully helpful and insightful.

In a recent episode of the Greymatter podcast, I sat down with my Blitzscaling co-author Chris Yeh to discuss what made Jeff Bezos great as a founder, CEO, and business innovator; why he might have decided to step back now (despite being only 57 years old); and offered some advice to Jeff and other Executive Chairpeople based on my own experiences at LinkedIn. You can listen to the entire podcast here.


Looking back, I believe that Jeff is one of most iconic, successful founders and CEOs of all time. He belongs to that Mount Rushmore of American CEOs, along with names like Carnegie, Ford, and Jobs. (When you’re that great, you only need one name). I also look forward to when the definitive list of the titans of industry includes more women and minorities, and when earlier pioneers like Madame C. J. Walker and Mary Kay Ash receive the respect they richly deserve.)

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