Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, speaks during a press conference. File/ Reuters
Dave Clark, the executive who made Amazon.com Inc into a worldwide delivery behemoth, is stepping down as chief executive of the online retailer’s consumer business to pursue other opportunities, the company said on Friday.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said he expects to share an update on who will succeed Clark in the next few weeks. Clark’s last day will be July 1, after 23 years with the company.
The departure further solidifies a changing of the guard at Amazon, which for years had veteran ranks under founder Jeff Bezos. A string of management departures including vice presidents and Bezos himself have shaken up the e-commerce and cloud company, though executives have aimed to maintain the customer focus and startup mentality of their founder.
Clark joined Amazon in May 1999, a day after graduating from business school. He quickly rose ranks, from an operations manager in Kentucky to running all of Amazon’s retail, logistics and other consumer-facing businesses as of last year. In the process he built an in-house delivery operation that rivaled industry stalwarts FedEx Corp and United Parcel Service Inc.
Clark’s departure is the second high-profile exit this week after Meta Platforms Inc’s operations chief, Sheryl Sandberg, announced that she was leaving the company after 14 years.
In a statement he posted on Twitter, Clark said he had for a while told confidantes he wanted to leave Amazon “to start a new journey” but waited for the right moment.
“I feel confident that time is now,” he said, adding that Amazon has “a solid multi-year plan to fight the inflationary challenges we are facing in 2022.”
Tumult in Amazon’s warehouse and delivery operation that Clark steered has been relentless since COVID-19 began spreading more than two years ago. As home-shopping orders jumped, workers fell ill and the company had to usher in more than 150 changes, from adding temperature scanners to technology for monitoring social distancing.