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Is Amazon Stock Still a Buy With the Departure of CEO Jeff Bezos?

By Danny Vena, Brian Stoffel, and Jason Hall - Feb 17, 2021 at 6:00AM

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The enigmatic leader is headed for the exit door. What does this mean for investors?

In the shot heard round the world earlier this month, Amazon (AMZN 3.58%) announced that Jeff Bezos would step down from the role of CEO and transition to the role of executive chair. The announcement marked the next stage in the evolution of a company that revolutionized e-commerce, creating the template for other companies to follow. The surprising move has some investors wondering what's next.

On this clip from Motley Fool Live, recorded on Feb. 3, "The Wrap" host Jason Hall and contributor Danny Vena discuss what impact on the move will have on Amazon's future.

Jason Hall: Danny, what are your thoughts on here? How does this change with Bezos stepping down change your view of Amazon?

Danny Vena: Just in broad strokes, the answer is probably not at all. There is always, always, always, when you change a senior manager or a CEO of a company, a C-suite executive, there's always the potential that something could go horribly wrong.

But in the case of Bezos and knowing who he is and knowing how he has run the company, we've all read the accounts of how he would prepare these multi-page documents for an idea that was coming to head, and he would have his managers do that as well and say, "bring me a three page document and tell me why we should run with this idea."

What that example tells me is that he has a really deep bench of thought leaders, of talent, of people that he has cultivated over the years. People like Jeff Bezos tend to surround themselves with the best and brightest out there. I think that is one of the reasons that Amazon has been so successful.

Jeff Bezos obviously, is a genius when it comes to business. They broke the mold with Jeff Bezos. I think he has done a remarkable job of turning Amazon from an online bookstore to what it was always envisioned as is the online "everything" store and then pivoting into areas like cloud computing, and electronics, and self-checkout at grocery stores. Some of those areas are things you couldn't possibly have imagined two decades ago.

My view of Amazon in the coming years has not really changed. I don't think that the company is going to suffer any. Particularly from the fact that the CFO said, "Jeff Bezos isn't leaving." He's actually transitioning from the role of CEO to Chief, I'm sorry, I forgot what the title is, but basically, he's just moving up, he's going to be the head of the board.

Jason Hall: Executive Chairman, I believe.

Danny Vena: Thank you. Executive Chairman. As a result of that, he's not leaving the company. Amazon may even improve from here because he's no longer running the day-to-day operations, he's moved up a notch and now he's just the idea man.

Jason Hall: Focusing on strategy, yeah.

Danny Vena: I don't see anything material changing in Amazon, at least not in the short term. Of course, I will keep an eye on it. But at this point, I plan to do nothing different. Amazon is my number four largest holding and I plan to keep it that way.

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