Courtesy of Seattle State Council via Wikimedia Commons

The news that Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, will be stepping down from his role in the company came as a bit of a surprise to most, as the billionaire’s name has practically become synonymous with the company. At the end of summer 2021, current Executive Chairman Andy Jassy will step up to fill Bezos’ shoes, while Bezos will be settled into the role as Amazon’s executive chairman. This shift in power seems fairly innocuous, even for an enormous company like Amazon, but considering the stances of Jassy, this should be a major chance to help improve the Amazon company in ways that Bezos ignored.

Jassy, for one thing, is not on track to become a trillionaire like Bezos. In fact, he’s not even a billionaire, despite all the stock he owns in Amazon. Though he still does live comfortably, he doesn’t have exorbitant wealth in quite the same way that Bezos does, which could suggest that Jassy potentially could pay more attention to caring for the workers of Amazon. However, Jassy has also been called “Bezos’ shadow,” and it has been speculated that Jassy might just be a “carbon copy” of Bezos’ own model of running the company. This, unfortunately, could mean that no changes will be made as a new CEO takes the reins, which is a travesty.

Jassy needs to buck up, and instead of continuing on with the comfortable way of running the company hurts blue-collar workers, he instead should implement policies that will help the workers who help the company run. He should allow workers to unionize, which is something Amazon workers keep fighting for. Jassy should also use his position of power to help remedy the conditions that have forced employees to have to skip basic needs like bathroom breaks. To rise to this position of power and continue to run Amazon as Bezos did is a crime against Amazon workers.

As CEO, Jassy shouldn’t necessarily be condemned for the inhumane conditions that Bezos allowed to occur. However, if he plans to let operations continue as usual, then he should be condemned for his complacency. Just because he is new doesn’t mean he’s unfamiliar with the complaints that have been placed against Bezos and the company as a whole; though Jassy may not previously have had too much power to stop it, he still has worked with Bezos since the start of Amazon. Thus, he is essentially complicit in allowing some of these things to happen, but he can’t necessarily face the complete blame for it because he may not have been in the position to make any pushback against Bezos. Now that Jassy will have control of the company, however, he hopefully will hear the public, and his employees and start to fix these glaring issues.

The new CEO of Amazon will have a lot on his plate, but that is not an excuse to keep the company running the way it always has. Jassy must abandon the ideology that he should keep Amazon running “as usual” and should instead use his position of power to improve the company in ways its employees have been requesting for years.

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