Amazon founder Jeff Bezos last night anointed his successor – as quarterly sales flew past $100billion for the first time.
Bezos, 57, revealed he was handing over the reins to Andy Jassy, the chief executive of Amazon’s booming cloud computing arm Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Jassy will take over as boss of the internet giant as Bezos steps back to become executive chairman.
The dramatic changing of the guard came as Amazon’s sales hit $126billion, or £92billion, in the final three months of 2020 — the first time the company has ever raked in more than $100billion in a quarter.
The storming end to the year took Amazon’s total sales for 2020 to £283billion – larger than the entire economy of Norway.
In a year which forced consumers to do more shopping online due to lockdown restrictions, Amazon sold £536,000 of products and services every minute.
And while high street chains such as Debenhams and Topshop have collapsed, Amazon pocketed profits of £15.6billion over the year.
Amazon’s results released last night coincided with those of Google parent Alphabet.
The tech titan raked in £41.7billion over the quarter, taking full-year sales to £123.4billion. Its profits for the whole of 2020 hit £29.5billion.
Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, who was recently overtaken as the world’s richest man by Elon Musk, said: ‘Amazon is what it is because of invention. We do crazy things together and then make them normal.’
But last night’s results came just hours after the company was ordered to pay £45million to the US Federal Trade Commission, to settle allegations that it failed to pay drivers of its Flex delivery service their full tips.
Amazon’s fourth-quarter results were boosted by its postponed Prime Day, which was delayed due to the pandemic.