After Jeff Bezos Steps Down, What is Amazon’s Role in Hollywood?
By Movieguide® Staff
As Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos steps down from his chief executive position in 2021, Hollywood wonders what the leadership change will mean for Amazon’s future in entertainment.
Bezos, 57, oversaw Amazon Prime Video’s climb to the top to compete with Netflix and established Amazon Studios as a viable player in e-commerce.
“Jeff has been a strong supporter and backer of the Amazon Studios efforts and keenly interested in their progress, and that’s helpful,” Tom Wellington, co-head of television at WME, said. “What Jeff’s interest has allowed is Prime Video and Amazon Studios to get a little bit of room within the Amazon culture to do things in ways that work more for Hollywood.”
There is speculation that after Bezos steps down to an executive chairman position, and his replacement Andy Jassy becomes CEO, Amazon’s interest in the entertainment industry could lessen.
However, Amazon dispelled this notion.
“One of the big hallmarks of Hollywood is when you have a new leader come in, there’s a whole changing of the guard. That’s not the Amazon way,” former Amazon VP of Digital Media Bill Carr, who worked on Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said.
Amazon does not anticipate drastic changes with Jassy in leadership.
“I don’t believe it will change things at the studio level,” another former Amazon executive told the Los Angeles Times. “True, Bezos likes the studio business, but I think this move is largely freeing him from daily running the entire retail operation. The teams below will continue the entertainment business at the same level.”
Moreover, Bezos will still have a hand in overseeing much of Amazon’s creative output as an executive chairman and will have more time for additional projects.
Bezos said he would “stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives,” but devote time to his other passions such as the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, and the Washington Post.
Amazon anticipates that Jassy will not hinder Amazon’s growth as a company and will thrive in his new leadership role.
“Those of us who know Andy are excited to see him take on this greater responsibility,” Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said. “He’s a visionary leader, a great operator. He understands what makes Amazon such a special, innovative company.”