Dave Clark, the CEO of Amazon’s consumer company who was the architect of the massive warehouse business, announced Friday that he would be leaving the company after 23 years. He did not say what he would do next and the company did not immediately name a successor.
“It’s time for me to build again,” he said in a note on Twitter. His last day is July 1.
Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO, said in an email to the company’s leadership that he hoped he would have an update on succession plans “in the coming weeks.”
“The past few years have been some of the most challenging and unpredictable we’ve experienced in the history of Amazon’s consumer business,” said Mr. Jassy, “and I’m especially grateful for Dave’s leadership during that time.”
Mr. Clark climbed through the ranks of Amazon’s operations to oversee one of the largest capital investments in the company’s history, as the company began developing its own infrastructure to fulfill and fulfill orders by plane, truck and van. to deliver. Under his supervision, the company’s workforce grew to more than 1.6 million.
At the same time, the model that Mr. Clark built under increasing pressure. Policymakers and employees have questioned the company’s employment model, which offers an average minimum wage of more than $18 an hour but relies on a stream of workers cycling in and out of the company. Staten Island workers voted to form a union this year, which the company disputes.
The company’s latest financial results showed Amazon was over-expanding and had more warehouse and labor capacity than customer demand, while the pandemic-driven boost in e-commerce waned. Company executives said it wanted to rebalance its spending.
“Our teams are fully focused on improving productivity and cost efficiency across our fulfillment network,” said Mr. Jassy in a statement at the time.
mr. Clark was an aggressive defender of Amazon. In a tweet he has since removed, last year promoting Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, who supported workers trying to unite. “I often say we’re the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we’re actually delivering a forward-thinking workplace,” wrote Mr. Clark. In another tweet that was deleted, he wrote that Mr Sanders should “save his finger-wagging lecture until after he actually gives in his own backyard”.
Amazon’s top management has gone through the biggest changes in its history in the past two years. Mr. Clark was promoted to lead the consumer business when Jeff Wilke, a longtime executive, retired. Then Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, stepped down as chief executive last year and named Mr. Jassy his replacement.
Under Mr. Bezos, Mr. Clark had considerable autonomy to build Amazon’s business. Mr. Jassy, who built and ran Amazon’s cloud computing business before taking on the CEO role, has delved into areas of the company previously not under his direct control. He has sworn to systematic addressing concerns of the employee.
Last fall, Mr. Clark moved from Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered, to Dallas, where the company does not have a large corporate presence, which some people in the organization saw as a sign that his time with the company could be coming to an end.