Jeff Bezos Leaves Amazon After Record Year

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos is leaving Amazon in Q3 after a record 2021. He will move into a more strategic, executive chairman role. Amazon Web Services head Andy Jassy will assume the role of CEO.

Jassy joined as a marketing manager (hey, AdExchanger readers!) in 1997 before rising to head up Amazon Web Services. There’s been speculation for some time that Jassy was the main frontrunner to succeed Bezos. Amazon’s stock barely budged in after-hours trading, rising less than 1% as of this writing.

Meanwhile, the pandemic created huge increases in Amazon’s sales. Net sales rose 44% to $125.6 billion during Q4, Amazon’s first twelve-figure quarter. For the full year, sales rose 38% to $386.1 billion.

Internationally, ongoing lockdowns in Europe contributed to a rise in ecommerce sales during Q4. And Prime Day, which Amazon rescheduled for October in deference to its focus on more essential deliveries during the earlier stages of the pandemic, also helped increase the uptick in sales during Q4.

Amazon’s “other” category, which is primarily made up advertising, grew 66% year over year to $7.95 billion. That means Amazon added $3.17 billion in advertising revenue compared to the previous Q4, making it by far the fastest-growing revenue segment at Amazon.

jeff bezos leaves amazon after record year

For some perspective, just one year ago, Amazon’s “other” segment was the smallest segment of its six revenue lines. Now it’s the fourth largest, having surpassed physical store sales and subscription revenue. Back in 2015, Amazon moved Amazon Web Services out of its “other” category once it reached more than $4 billion in sales. Perhaps a similar advertising-related breakout is in Amazon’s near future.

Despite its growth, Amazon’s advertising business didn’t come up during the investor Q&A portion of the call, compared to last quarter when it was discussed in relative depth. Regardless, Amazon’s ad tech continues to gain traction, having clocked in as the top DSP in an Advertiser Perceptions report this December.

Amazon’s streaming business, which creates supply for its advertising business, is also picking up traction, due to increased viewership during the pandemic. In the US, the San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals game in December attracted 11. 1 million total viewers. Amazon Fire counts 50 million monthly active users globally.

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