Dave Clark, the chief executive of Amazon’s consumer business who was the architect of its massive warehouse operations, announced on Friday that he would go away the corporate after 23 years. He didn’t say what he would do next, and the corporate didn’t immediately name a successor.
“It’s time for me to construct again,” he said in a note on Twitter. His last day is July 1.
Andy Jassy, Amazon’s chief executive, said in an email to the corporate’s leadership that he hoped to have an update on succession plans “over the subsequent few weeks.”
“The past few years have been amongst probably the most difficult and unpredictable we’ve faced within the history of Amazon’s Consumer business,” Mr. Jassy said, “and I’m particularly appreciative of Dave’s leadership during that point.”
Mr. Clark rose through the ranks of Amazon’s operations to oversee certainly one of the most important capital investments in corporate history, as the corporate moved to develop its own infrastructure to meet and deliver orders by air, truck and vans. Under his watch, the corporate’s work force swelled to greater than 1.6 million.
At the identical time, the model Mr. Clark built has faced growing pressures. Policymakers and employees have questioned the corporate’s employment model, which provides a median minimum wage above $18 an hour but relies on a stream of employees cycling out and in of the corporate. Employees on Staten Island this yr voted to form a union, which the corporate is contesting.
The corporate’s latest financial results showed that Amazon overexpanded, having more warehouse and labor capability than customer demand because the pandemic-fueled boost in e-commerce receded. Company executives said it was seeking to rebalance its spending.
“Our teams are squarely focused on improving productivity and value efficiencies throughout our achievement network,” Mr. Jassy said in a press release on the time.
Mr. Clark was an aggressive defender of Amazon. In a tweet he has since deleted, last yr he goaded Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, who was supporting employees attempting to unionize. “I often say we’re the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace,” Mr. Clark wrote. In one other tweet that was deleted, he wrote that Mr. Sanders should “save his finger wagging lecture until after he actually delivers in his own backyard.”
The highest of Amazon’s ranks has passed through the largest changes in its history over the past two years. Mr. Clark was promoted to run the patron business when Jeff Wilke, a longtime executive, retired. Then Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, stepped down as chief executive last yr and named Mr. Jassy his substitute.
Under Mr. Bezos, Mr. Clark had significant autonomy to construct Amazon’s operations. Mr. Jassy, who had built and run Amazon’s cloud computing operations before getting into the chief executive role, has been digging into parts of the corporate that had not previously been under his direct control. He has vowed to systematically address worker concerns.
Last fall, Mr. Clark moved from Seattle, where Amazon has its headquarters, to Dallas, where the corporate doesn’t have a significant corporate presence, which some people within the organization saw as an indication his time with the corporate might be coming to an end.