Jeff Bezos' tenure as Amazon CEO is coming to an end. Bezos announced on Wednesday that, as of July 5, he would be handing over the reins of the day-to-day management of the mega-corporation to Andy Jassy, who currently serves as CEO of Amazon Web Services. Bezos, worth $188.2 billion, will remain involved at the company as chief chairman of the board.
"I'm very excited to move into the exec chair role where I will focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives," Bezos said during Amazon's annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday. The billionaire also admitted that the date of the transition was chosen for a very specific reason. "We chose that date because it's sentimental for me: the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago." Bezos also assured shareholders that he had nothing but confidence in Jassy, telling them that " he has the highest of high standards and I guaranty that Andy will never let the universe make us typical. He has the energy needed to keep alive in us what has made us special."
During the meeting, Bezos also addressed Amazon's recent plans to acquire MGM for $8.45 billion, saying that it only made sense in terms of expansion. "[It] is really very simple: MGM has a vast, deep catalog of much-loved intellectual property. With the talented people at MGM and Amazon Studios, we can reimagine and develop that IP for the 21s century".
The Information reported that MGM and Amazon were in talks for a deal between $7 billion and $10 billion. Industry sources told Variety that MGM was looking for $9 billion, but the studio is reportedly worth about $5 billion. Apple and Comcast were allegedly interested at about $6 billion, but MGM rejected their offers. Sources told Variety that the negotiations were handled personally by Amazon Studios and Prime Video Senior VP Mike Hopkins and MGM board chairman Kevin Ulrich. MGM's vast back catalog of films will help Amazon Prime stand out even more in the ever-growing streamer race.