Over the course of 27 years, Jeff Bezos made Amazon.com Inc. into a colossus whose power and influence reverberate across numerous industries. The fortunes of Mr. Bezos and Amazon have exploded in recent years. As demand intensified for its core online-shopping business, the company also saw wild success in cloud computing and expanded successfully into entertainment and advertising. With the growth of Amazon’s power and ambition, the company has gone on an unparalleled hiring spree and widened its footprint across the U.S.
Starting Monday, when Mr. Bezos leaves the CEO role to become executive chairman, the Amazon founder will enter a life that includes space exploration, philanthropy and splashy spending on real estate and new toys. As he hands over day-to-day management of the company to Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy, here’s a look at the personal and professional empires he created:
Long business tentacles
Amazon dominates online retail, where it accounts for about 41% of all online sales, according to research firm eMarketer. But the company also helped pioneer cloud computing services and is a force in the advertising industry, where it now competes with ad titans Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc.
In recent years, Amazon has forged its way deeper into the daily lives of Americans through its streaming services and smart devices, categories where it has maintained a grip even as competition has heated up. Its Alexa assistant and Fire TV streaming devices regularly rank among Amazon’s bestselling items on its site, thanks in part to regular discounts.