In choosing Amazon Web Services head Andy Jassy to succeed him as CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos did more than acknowledge that the company is now much more of a tech firm than a retailer.
Bezos, who will become executive chairman of Amazon, put someone who is at least knowledgeable about blockchain at the head of one of the world’s largest companies.
Under Jassy’s watch, Amazon Web Services launched Amazon Managed Blockchain, which claims to be the leading cloud provider of blockchain services, supporting all major protocols and hosting 25% of all Ethereum nodes worldwide. Which is enough to get the company cited as a reason a decentralized web is needed.
While Jassy has sounded skeptical about blockchain in the past, CNBC reported that at the November 2018 launch, Jassy said “We don’t build things for optics.”
Noting that the company only invests in products that it understands, Jassy added that blockchain “is something a lot of companies need,” CNBC said.
At the time, AMB supported only Hyperledger and Ethereum. It now boasts more than 70 blockchain solutions, supporting “all major blockchain protocols including Hyperledger Sawtooth, Corda, DAML, Ethereum, Quorum, Blockstack, Blockapps Strato, RSK, Kadena ScalableBFT, and many more.” Clients include Nestle, Sony Music and BMW.
But, Forbes booted Amazon off its 2021 list of the Forbes Blockchain 50, released this week, noting that while it is still active in blockchain, it joined other tech giants like Google and Facebook in keeping “lower profiles in the space over the past 12 months.”
As for Bezos, he said he planned to focus his “energies and attention on new products and early initiatives,” as well as non-Amazon projects including the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, spaceflight company Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and other interests.
On Jan. 14, Bezos dropped to the second richest person alive when Tesla chief and spaceflight competitor—via SpaceX—Elon Musk past him with an estimated $182.9 billion fortune. Of course, Bezos did give his ex-wife $38 billion in a divorce settlement in 2019.