Former Amazon Vice President Colin Bryar, who also served as chief of staff to Jeff Bezos, says the company’s outgoing CEO will remain committed to Amazon and its success as he pursues other endeavors.
“He said he was going to focus on some as some of his other endeavors, the Blue Origin space, the Day One Fund and climate change initiatives,” Bryar told Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co” on Wednesday. “But he’s also still going to be involved at Amazon on new initiatives, and what we like to call ‘one-way doors,’ decisions that you make that are hard to reverse.”
“He’s still going to be involved in Amazon moving forward, just in a different role,” he added.
Bezos, who founded Amazon in 1994, announced Tuesday he will be departing as CEO and transitioning to a role as executive chairman in the company’s third fiscal quarter.
“In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives,” Bezos wrote in an email to staffers.
Bryar, who has been described as Bezos’ "shadow," worked alongside Bezos for many years, beginning in 1998 when he first arrived at the company. He reflected on his former boss’ tenure, which he says has been marked by a clear vision to build and grow a company focused on consumers.
“He told me that his goal was to build Earth’s most customer-centric company,” Bryar said of his first time meeting Bezos. “And from that day I met him, he’s really stuck to that mission and vision.”
Bryar said this dedication has been a major factor in the company’s success.
“He holds everyone, including himself, up to incredibly high standards and he won’t compromise on the customer experience … I think that’s one of the things that has made Amazon an enduring company moving forward,” Bryar said.
The former vice president believes it is invention, not wealth, that has driven Bezos as CEO and will continue to do so in his new role.
“He revels in invention and focusing on things that are going to delight the customer,” Bryar said. “That’s where I’ve seen the joy in the laugh come through with Jeff, and I expect that to continue, but just in a slightly different format moving forward.”
Andy Jassy, currently the CEO of Amazon’s highly profitable cloud computing wing, will replace Bezos as CEO. Jassy started in Amazon’s marketing department in 1997.
Colin Bryar is the co-author of the new book “Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon.”
Fox Business’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.