Amazon announced that Andy Jassy from Amazon Web Services will take over as the company's new CEO in the third quarter, while founder and current CEO Jeff Bezos will become executive chairman.
Here's what investors and former Amazon employees had to say about the change.
Bill Carr, former Amazon digital media executive, lays out Jassy's legacy as head of cloud computing.
"He's worked for the company for more than 20 years, and he's worked side by side with Jeff during this period of time. Look, he and his team have invented an entirely new category called cloud computing, a category that back in 2004 no one would have thought that Amazon would have any right to even participate in such a thing. That would have been the place of Oracle or IBM or Microsoft, and you know he's created a runaway hit. So he's an incredibly inventive leader and he's an incredibly detail-oriented leader who dives into all the salient details of his business. He knows how to manage and he's a shrewd operator, he's going to be a great leader for the company."
Tim Bray, former Amazon vice president, applauds Jassy's gung-ho leadership.
"I've been in the room with Andy Jassy when we've done a large elaborate presentation about our plans for the coming year. He says 'sounds smart, are you being aggressive enough? Are you going fast enough? If I gave you twice that much, what could you do?' So I think, Andy Jassy is a very aggressive guy."
Brent Thill, managing director and senior analyst at Jefferies, credits Jassy with growth in the cloud business.
"It's not a shocker. Andy obviously ran the AWS business to one of the biggest software businesses on the planet. … This is the bulk of the profitability for Amazon and it lets them experiment in the other segments of the business that are less profitable like retail and so we think ultimately this is a great move. I don't think that really much is going to change. Obviously, if you're a software individual which I am for 20+ years, we're all excited because this is the recurring visibility and the bulk of the profitability of the company and we think that this will only firmly establish that they're going to continue to spend aggressively against Microsoft and Google."
Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money," says Amazon is still a buy after recent strength.
"People who think that this is a nesting trade and once things get back to normal they're not going to do as well, that's nonsense. Even though the stock is doing well, you have to buy it today. You have to buy it because Jassy is the man. It isn't like Bezos is just off into the blue yonder. What I want to urge people to do and people don't want to do this because it's very time consuming, go to the Amazon release, read about the future. There is just paragraph after paragraph of what they have planned. Most companies couldn't even do three paragraphs. The things that they're up to are the future, and Jassy is really the key for a lot of these initiatives, so I'm very excited about it."
Guy Adami, CNBC "Fast Money" trader, says a strong quarter should propel Amazon shares even higher.
"I'm surprised the stock isn't significantly higher than it is now. And I do think this is going to be a bit of a seamless transition. Not that I knew, I don't think anybody knew anything but there has been talk about this for a while so I don't think it's taking anybody by that much of a surprise. But you just look at the numbers quickly. Revenue at the higher end of guidance but operating income beat the higher end of guidance which is extraordinary if you ask me. They also gave you first-quarter guidance, operating margins north of 6%. This stock should be testing again in my opinion, the highs we saw back in September."