Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in July 1994. He chose Seattle because of technical talent as Microsoft is located there. In May 1997, Amazon went public. It began selling music and videos in 1998, at which time it began operations internationally by acquiring online sellers of books in United Kingdom and Germany. The following year, Amazon began selling items including video games, consumer electronics, home improvement items, software, games, and toys.
In 2002, Amazon launched Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provided data on website popularity, Internet traffic patterns and other statistics for marketers and developers. In 2006, Amazon grew its AWS portfolio when Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which rents computer processing power as well as Simple Storage Service (S3), that rents data storage via the Internet, were made available. That same year, Amazon started Fulfillment by Amazon which managed the inventory of individuals and small companies selling their belongings through the company internet site. In 2012, Amazon bought Kiva Systems to automate its inventory-management business, purchasing Whole Foods Market supermarket chain five years later in 2017.
In January 2021, Amazon invested with over $278 million by opening two new centers in Italy (Novara and Modena) and creating over 1100 jobs.
On February 2, 2021, Amazon announced that Jeff Bezos would be stepping down as CEO and transition to Executive Chair of Amazon's board in Q3 of 2021. Andy Jassy, who is currently CEO of AWS, will succeed Bezos as CEO of the company.