“Intel, Microsoft, Oracle – you see this pattern,” he said.
Even before a founder leaves, executives sense that a company is approaching a new era, he said.
“People get the idea that Jeff is adjusting, and that makes people start thinking about other options,” he said, adding that as companies grow, leaders often have less bureaucracy and more financial benefits when they do walk.
“We have had and still have remarkable retention and leadership continuity within the company,” said Chris Oster, an Amazon spokesman. The average tenure is 10 years for vice presidents and more than 17 years for senior vice presidents, he added.
Mr Bezos has long played up MPs’ longevity. At a forum in 2017, a staff member asked him about the lack of diversity in his senior team, called the S team, which was almost entirely made up of whites and men, and Mr Bezos said it was an advantage that his top Deputies have been at his side for years.
Any change in the team, he said, would be “very gradual over a long period of time.”
In recent years, Mr. Bezos has withdrawn from much of Amazon’s day-to-day business and instead focused on strategic projects and external projects like his space start-up Blue Origin, which gives his deputies even more autonomy.
Mr Bezos, 57, was back on day-to-day matters at the start of the pandemic. But in February, he announced that he plans to step down from the helm of Amazon and become executive chairman of the company’s board of directors. On July 20, he is scheduled to fly on board his rocket company’s first manned space flight.
Mr. Bezos was handed over shortly after Mr. Wilke, who had long been considered a potential successor, announced his resignation.