Is Jeff Bezos Returning to Amazon in 2023? | 2023 Predictions
2022 was a rocky year for some. For Amazon, this is no exception.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon for 27 years, stepped down in July 2021 to be replaced by Andy Jassy, former head of the Amazon Web Services unit (AWS). Since his leave, Amazon stock has lost 52% of its value.
This difficult last year clashes with the success brought by the pandemic. In April 2021 during the height of lockdown and the online shopping craze, Amazon’s profit increased by 220 percent, and the number of items Amazon sold grew by 44%. Later that year, Bezos announced his step down to his new role as executive chairman to focus on “new projects and early initiatives”.
Along with the largest stock decrease since the late nineties, the company was forced to cut some 10,000 corporate employees, approximately 3% of their workforce, while Bezos’ fortune fell by over $66 billion.
Consequently, many analysts like Michael Batnick, managing partner at Ritholtz Wealth Management, believe that these drops could mean Bezos’ return. Batnick, who caught attention for his list of 2022 predictions, believes that Bezos will be back in 2023 to “steady the ship”.
The prediction isn’t completely out of left field. A similar scenario took place last November when former Disney CEO Bob Iger returned to his position 11 months after instating his handpicked replacement Bob Chapek. Chapek was removed from his position after multiple internal complaints, controversy with the company’s position on LGBTQ+ rights, and a drop in shares by around 41% by the time of his leave.
Despite claims, critics argue that a switchback in Amazon would cause more harm than good. According to Barchart analyst Will Ashworth, Jassy spent 15 years at the company building AWS, which generated an operating income of $6.52 billion in the most recent quarter. This contribution to Amazon profits, along with Jassy’s newness to the position and external factors putting a strain on Amazon’s stock, makes some believe that an Iger-Chapek situation is not yet necessary.
While no changes have yet been made, time will tell what becomes of Amazon’s management in 2023.