Dave Clark, an Amazon veteran of more than 23 years and the CEO of the company’s global consumer business for the past 18 months, could have referred to more than the class at Auburn University. of 2022 when he delivered this line as a rookie speaker at his alma mater in early May.
“So many great things have been created through heat and pressure, and times like today breed innovation and opportunity for those with the courage and daring to take on new challenges,” he said. he declared.
Less than a month later, amid its own period of intense heat and pressure, Amazon announced Friday that Clark would continue his new challenges elsewhere starting July 1, with no immediate successor named.
It’s the latest step in a major shakeup of Amazon’s executive leadership and a chance for Amazon CEO Andy Jassy to put more of his stamp on the company by appointing the next top executive. Amazon’s big business.
Less than two years ago, Amazon’s CEO was its founder, Jeff Bezos, with Jassy as CEO of Amazon Web Services, and Jeff Wilke as CEO of Amazon Consumer, supported by a group of executives experienced staff, including Clark as head of global operations, and longtime executive Charlie. Bell reports to Jassy in the cloud division.
With Bezos now in the role of executive chairman, Jassy is CEO of Amazon with a consumer leader to be named later. Wilke left in early 2021; Bell went to Microsoft later that year; and Clark’s departure is particularly significant given that there is no obvious successor to lead the centerpiece of the company’s operations.
The changes at the top are part of a larger series of exits among Amazon’s top executives, as documented by reporters for Initiated in a series of stories in recent months.
Clark has five direct reports on the company’s leadership team:
- Alicia Boler DavisSenior Vice President, Global Client Execution
- John FeltonSVP, Worldwide Delivery Services
- Doug HerringtonSVP, Consumer North America
- Russ GrandinettiSVP, International Consumers
- Dave TreadwellSVP, eCommerce Foundation
As noted information in his analysis of potential successorsthe company could also bring back a former executive, as it did with the choice of Adam Selipsky to succeed Jassy as CEO of AWS. information cited Diego Piacentiniformer senior vice president of consumer business at Amazon, as a possibility.
Whoever gets the job will have no shortage of challenges.
Amazon Consumer’s new CEO will be tasked with restoring profitability to Amazon’s core consumer business while dealing with a financial and operational hangover from the pandemic, and in the face of a growing trade union movement among in-depth review of Amazon’s treatment of workers.
These are among the factors that led to Clark’s exit, according to current and past executives quoted by Insider in its news report. Quoting two Amazon insiders, the report says Clark “had a strained working relationship with Jassy, who is known as a micro-manager.”
Amazon has “more work ahead of us to get to where we ultimately want to be in our consumer business,” Jassy wrote in a memo to employees announcing Clark’s departure. “To that end, we try to be thoughtful in our plans for Dave’s succession and in any changes we make.”
Jassy added that he will have an update “over the next few weeks”.
Clark has not announced what he will do next.
“We have a great leadership team across the Consumer business who are ready to take on more as the business evolves beyond the customer experience challenges we faced during the COVID pandemic. -19,” Clark wrote in his memo. “We also have a strong multi-year plan to tackle the inflationary challenges we face in 2022.”
Clark added, “I leave knowing that the leaders in the consumer sector are world-class and will drive the next phase of Amazon to remarkable levels of success.”