Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO and become executive chairman, naming the head of its lucrative cloud computing division as successor in a sign of the company’s transformation from web retailer to internet conglomerate.
This summer, Bezos, 57, will hand the keys of the world’s largest online retailer to Andy Jassy, head of its cloud division Amazon Web Services known as AWS. The announcement on Tuesday settles a long-running question about who would replace the world’s second-richest person at the company’s helm.
Bezos is ending his role as CEO on a high note: the business he began as an internet bookseller 27 years ago is now one of the world’s most valuable companies and posted three consecutive record profits after losses in decades prior. On Tuesday, Amazon reported quarterly sales above $100 billion for the first time.
Jassy, 53, joined Amazon in 1997 after Harvard Business School, founding AWS and growing it to a cloud platform used by millions of customers, the company’s website said. He had been a clear contender for the top job since Amazon created two CEO roles reporting to Bezos years ago, the other held by recently retired consumer CEO Jeff Wilke.
Tom Johnson, chief transformation officer at global marketing firm Mindshare, said Jassy’s promotion underscored the centrality of the web hosting business to Amazon’s strategy.
“Jassy’s background in steering AWS shows just how top of mind those services are to Amazon’s business strategy. It’ll be interesting to see how that affects their strategy and balancing that priority with a growing ad business and the commerce behemoth,” he said.
Jassy is known for understanding highly technical details and has regularly taken jabs at legacy player Oracle Corp and cloud rival Microsoft Corp, which AWS continues to exceed in sales. Bezos has made fewer public remarks about competitors.
Under Jassy’s leadership, Amazon’s cloud business has signed major customers including Verizon, McDonald’s and Honeywell. Silicon Valley startups have long relied on AWS, and the division’s annual revenue grew 37% in 2019 and 30% in 2020, helping cement its position as the market leader.
One contract AWS failed to win was the $10 billion “JEDI” project from the Pentagon, which was awarded to Microsoft.
Jassy has aimed to bestow a rock-star aura to keynotes at AWS’s annual Las Vegas conference, speaking before over 60,000 attendees in 2019 after upbeat music preceded his talk.
Bezos, who already has focused on other personal enterprises in years past, said in a note to employees posted on Amazon’s website, “As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.” Blue Origin is Bezos’ space company.
He added, “I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring.”
Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said on a call with analysts that Bezos would work on “large one-way door issues,” such as acquisitions and other strategies where there is a high cost to reversing course.
COVID SPENDING DOWN
Amazon’s net sales rose to $125.6 billion as consumers turned to the world’s largest online retailer for their holiday shopping, beating analyst estimates of $119.7 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Amazon shares were up less than 1% in after-hours trading.
Jassy’s AWS, traditionally a bright spot, fell slightly short of expectations in the fourth quarter. While the cloud computing division recently announced deals with ViacomCBS, the BMW Group and others, it posted revenue of $12.7 billion, short of the $12.8 billion analysts had estimated.
Amazon said it was not naming an AWS replacement for Jassy at this time.
Meanwhile Amazon’s e-commerce business has never been as big. Since the start of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, consumers have turned to Amazon for delivery of home staples and medical supplies. While brick-and-mortar shops closed their doors, Amazon recruited over 400,000 more workers to keep up with demand.
That has placed the Seattle-based company at the center of workplace tumult. More than 19,000 have contracted COVID-19 as of September, and some staff have protested and demanded facility closures. Others, at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse, are seeking to be the first at the company to unionize in the United States, with an election to begin next week.
Olsavsky told reporters on a conference call that costs associated with the pandemic in the first quarter are expected to total $2 billion, down from $4 billion in the fourth quarter as shopping volumes decrease. The company has taken an array of COVID-19 precautions and written government officials – including U.S. President Joe Biden – saying it is eager to offer vaccine shots to staff.
A boost in revenue came from moving Amazon’s marketing event Prime Day – usually in July – to October, lengthening the holiday shopping season.
Net sales for the current quarter are expected to be between $100 billion and $106 billion.
Read more on REUTERS
Internet Criminals, Major Cause Of Anxiety In Nigeria – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria is witnessing a rise in threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters and cyber terrorists who use the internet to cause apprehension.
He said this during the launch of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.
He called for an overhaul of the national strategy on cybersecurity with more emphasis on exploring the internet for economic growth opportunities, enhancement of knowledge and mitigation of crime.
He urged the National Security Adviser to continue to coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders to ensure that the internet and cyberspace were used for the enhancement of national security and economic progression.
He said the Federal Government had taken some major policy decisions to increase penetration of the internet in the daily lives of citizens, particularly for the utilitarian purpose, with the launch of the National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 in March 2020; National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020 – 2030; National Identity Program, Treasury Single Account and Bank Verification Number schemes.
“All these initiatives serve as enablers for tackling many of the economic and security challenges facing our country while also providing us with the platform to improve accountability and transparency in our unwavering resolve to tackle corruption.
“However, like many other countries across the globe, the growth and development of the internet is accompanied by significant problems.
He said the internet and social media had witnessed a surge in the propagation of hate speech, fake news, seditious and treasonable messages, as well as the risks of breaches to personal information and government sensitive data.
He said the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 would provide the necessary platform to effectively confront the dynamic nature of threats in our cyberspace.
“The document will also provide the framework that would enable us to harness the efforts of our private sector, academia and industry towards progressive economic and national development.
“To this end, the document will provide the platform for technical education, digital skills acquisition and indigenous technology production, thereby creating job opportunities for our youth and supporting our resolve to alleviate poverty and boost our economy,’’ Buhari said.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, said there had been a surge in the use of the internet, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown around the world, with increasing waves of crimes, irregular migration and threats to border security.
Monguno said many platforms including banking, communication and military had come under more threat, with personal information easily distorted and explored, necessitating a review of the 2014 National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS).
The NSA said the reviewed document will work towards mitigating the “suffocating presence and unpredictable threats’’ of cybercrimes.
Enugu govt to commence operations of its Tech Hubs, Youth Innovation Centres
…Advertises posts of General Managers
To actualize its policy on skills acquisition and youth empowerment, the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, has called for applications from qualified candidates for appointments as General Managers of the newly established State Tech Hub and Youth Innovation Centres in Enugu Urban and Obollo Afor, Udenu Local Government Area.
A statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, disclosed that the advertisement for the posts of General Managers was in keeping with the state government’s commitment to the immediate commencement of the two Technology Hubs and Youth Innovation Centres.
Prof. Ortuanya explained that “the General Managers shall be the Chief Executive Officers responsible for the day to day administration of the Enugu State Technology Hubs and Youth Innovation Centres”.
The SSG added that their duties also include managing the business of training youths in the centres; coordinating and directing the Departmental Heads; supervising staff matters and carrying out such other functions as may be delegated to them from time to time by the Supervising Ministry.
He pointed out that a candidate eligible for appointment as General Manager of the centre must possess “a good Honours Degree or its equivalent in Information and Communication Technology, Computer Science, Engineering, Administration, Management and other related disciplines from a recognized University or other institution of higher learning”.
Prof. Ortuanya who maintained that interested candidate must have a minimum of five (5) years cognate experience in the relevant industry, revealed that “possession of a Master’s degree or post-graduate certificate will be an added advantage”.
The SSG therefore asked qualified and interested candidates to submit in sealed envelopes, their typewritten applications with ten (10) copies of relevant credentials, Curriculum Vitae (CV), two (2) recent photographs, names and addresses of three (3) referees, one of whom must be the candidate’s present employer, to the Permanent Secretary (General Administration), Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Abuja Building, Government House, Enugu, on or before March 12, 2021.
The statement noted that the sealed envelopes should be marked “Post of General Manager, Enugu State Technology Hub and Innovation Centre” on the top left corner, indicating the preferred centre (Enugu Urban or Obollo Afor).
It highlighted that each referee is to forward a confidential report on the applicant directly to the address above, stating that “the conditions of service are as obtainable in the state’s Public Service System” as “the successful candidates will be entitled to all officially approved benefits attached to the post of General Manager”.
Recall that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration last year commenced massive construction and renovation of facilities at the centres, a worthwhile venture which the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Obi Kama, said was initiated by the governor to bring technology-driven innovations down to the grassroots for digital economy.
Hon. Kama disclosed that the target “is to turn Enugu into a Tech tourism state within the next three years by bringing in the best Tech solutions and innovations through localization and consequently increase the state Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by at least 15 percent”.
He added that “the hub also targets to create more than 1,500 small scale tech businesses in the region; employing more than 10,000 youths within the short space of time”, revealing that “the centres will be equipped with computer sets, solar power source, 100 KVA Generator, internet access, training tools and consumables”.
The Commissioner further disclosed that the services to be rendered at the Tech Hub centres for the benefit of the people of Enugu State, especially the youth, include, computer training programmes, solar skills acquisition training, computer coding, web site designs, graphic designs, confectionaries and hands-on technical skills training, among others.
Enugu State is in the hands of God!
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Former President Trump will not be permitted back on Twitter even if he runs again for office and wins, according to the company’s chief financial officer. “The way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform,” CFO Ned Segal said, “whether you’re a commentator, you’re a CFO, or you are a former or current public official.”
Last month, Twitter said it was permanently suspending Trump “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” after some of his supporters stormed the US Capitol.
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