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Into the blue: a new frontier for Jeff Bezos after Amazon

Bezos steps down as CEO of the tech giant and now prepares for the space race

When Jeff Bezos announced in February that he would step down as chief executive of Amazon he insisted that he would not be retiring. After founding Amazon as an online bookshop from his garage in 1994, his 27-year spell as CEO came to an end on Monday, when Andy Jassy took over the multinational tech giant. 

Bezos, the world’s richest person, will now become executive chair of the Amazon Board while focusing on his other passions, including the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, and The Washington Post. 

“I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring,” the 57-year-old said in an email to staff earlier this year. “I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organisations can have.”

Bezos is leaving the CEO role at a time of great success for Amazon, says Annie Palmer of CNBC. Earlier this year it surpassed $100bn (£72.1bn) in quarterly sales for the first time and Jassy will “inherit a company that’s hitting its stride”.

While Amazon’s new boss settles into his new position, Bezos is leaving for space...

The space race

Bezos has always been fascinated by space travel, the BBC says. And later this month he aims to fly into space on the first crewed flight made by his aerospace company Blue Origin, which he founded in 2000.

His brother Mark will accompany him on the New Shepard’s first human flight on 20 July and the sub-orbital journal will take 11 minutes. 

One of the first billionaires to jump into the commercial “space race”, he is joined by an increasing number of entrepreneurs planning to create cheap, commercialised space travel. Along with the likes of Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic), they’re “posing a major challenge to established space industry giants”, the BBC adds. 

“It looks like space-bound adventures are going to take a front-row seat in his future plans,” says News18.com.

Dreams of space travel

After pouring billions of dollars into Blue Origin to promote tourism and infrastructure in space, the final frontier has long beckoned Bezos, Reuters reports. When announcing the flight on 20 July he said in a video on Instagram: “Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of travelling to space.” 

With Branson and Virgin Galactic also set to fly on 11 July - nine days before Bezos and Blue Origin - the billionaire space race is on. The next few weeks “will change human space flight forever”, says Forbes.

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