(ABCNews)-- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is recovering after being evacuated from the Galapagos Islands by the Ecuadorian navy because he suffered severe kidney stones, according to a translated press release from the Ecuadorian navy.
Bezos was vacationing on a cruise around the islands, when he became ill on New Year's Day. According to the navy, Bezos was evacuated from the island by helicopter to Baltra Island where a private plane took him to the U.S. for emergency surgery.
Bezos' family and friends thanked the helicopter operators and crew members for their quick response.
A spokesperson for Amazon sent us this email when we asked about Bezos' health Saturday night: "I sent the inquiry to Jeff and here's what he sent back: 'Galapagos: five stars. Kidney stones: zero stars.'"
Bezos is the founder of online retail giant Amazon and recently bought the Washington Post newspaper.
"The TNNV-AV Juan Ibarra, TNNV-AV German Quishepe and SGOP William Altamirano, crewmembers of the helicopter, received messages of thanks from the families and close collaborators of the businessman with worldwide fame for the timely action and demonstrated professionalism," the navy said in a statement. " When seconds make a difference to save a human life in the Insular Area, the Ecuadoran Navy fulfills its task, ensuring the safety of the residents, national and international tourists while they are in the Galapagos Archipelagos."
In an interview with ABCNews.com last year, Bezos, 49, explained the challenges of taking over a media company.
"What we need to do is always lean into the future, when the world changes around you and when it changes against you -- what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind -- you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn't a strategy," he said.