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New Amazon CEO Andy Jassy says voice is the future. Tapping on apps is 'so circa 2005'

In an interview with CNBC, Jeff Bezos' successor also says employees will return to offices in a "meaningful amount," but didn't give a deadline.

Andy Jassy took over as Amazon's CEO in July.
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Amazon's new CEO, Andy Jassy, predicts customers will eventually do their shopping from their new Amazon-made Fire TV Omni or Fire TV 4-Series. It's part of the company's effort to shift you away from tapping on apps, an experience that Jassy said, in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, will soon feel outdated. 

"When you experience great voice apps, it makes tapping on an app so circa 2005," he said in the interview. The company made the TVs available for preorder in September, and they join Amazon's Alexa empire for in-home, voice-activated devices the company hopes will reshape how consumers interact with the internet. The company also provides original viewing content from Amazon Studios, available for viewing through Prime Video, and aims to build its TV and movie business with its pending acquisition of MGM

In addition, Jassy said the company has "a very important relationship" with the NFL. The league partners with Amazon for its Thursday Night Football, which will air 15 games exclusively on Amazon in 2022. The company is reportedly a frontrunner to stream the NFL's Sunday night games as well. Jassy didn't address Amazon's interest in a Sunday Night Football deal.

Jassy gave the interview a little more than two months after taking the helm at Amazon on July 5 . He'd previously led the company's biggest money maker -- Amazon Web Services -- since its launch in 2006. Jassy's selection as Amazon's CEO was no surprise to analysts, who saw him as an Amazon insider who'd worked closely with Bezos for more than two decades. 

The executive told CNBC that he wanted to get his wife's input before accepting the top job.

He's settling into the top role at the company as it recovers from pandemic chaos, with intense turnover at its warehouses and breakdowns in supply chains for its goods -- but also at a time of fantastical growth. After a year of phenomenal revenues in Amazon's retail business, the company's sales finally slowed slightly in the second quarter of 2021. Jassy acknowledged Amazon's pandemic success, estimating the growth to be about two or three years' worth of growth in 18 months.

Though the pandemic is ongoing, Jassy said, Amazon's corporate employees won't be working remotely forever. "We're going to have a lot of people in the offices," he said, in a "meaningful amount."

He didn't specify whether the company would adopt a more hybrid model or give a timeline of when the company expects offices to fill up.

As for the company's fulfillment centers, where employees have been working in person throughout the pandemic, Jassy said the first priority is safety. The company has come under criticism for injury rates, as well as its COVID prevention practices early in the pandemic, and recently vowed to become the safest place to work on Earth. The company has launched new health and safety initiatives to help prevent physical injuries caused by the intense labor of lifting, repetitive motions and miles of walking involved in warehouse work. 

Amid these promises, Amazon is under sharp scrutiny for its labor practices. Just before stepping down as CEO, founder Jeff Bezos told shareholders that the company was pledging to become "Earth's best employer," a commitment made as Amazon faced investigations into working conditions and its actions during a union-organizing effort at a warehouse in Alabama earlier this year.

Additionally, the US Federal Trade Commission is probing the company for antitrust violations, and Amazon faces a separate antitrust lawsuit by the attorney general of New York. The FTC is now led by antitrust reformer Lina Khan, whose legal scholarship has focused on the ways Amazon and other tech giants could be seen as an anticompetitive force on the US economy. Amazon has pushed back on those arguments, as well as asking that Khan be recused from investigations into the company on the premise that her past academic writings show she's biased.

Amazon said Tuesday it's boosting average starting pay at warehouses to $18 an hour. Jassy emphasized the full health and 401(k) benefits the company's warehouse workers receive, in addition to the company's options for training opportunities and full college tuition. The company has advocated for a $15 federal minimum wage.