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Amazon’s Consumer CEO Steps Down From Overextended Unit
Amazon has revealed that the CEO of its global consumer business, David Clark, has decided to step down on July 1.
David Clark. Image courtesy of Amazon.
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3 minute read

Amazon has revealed that the CEO of its global consumer business, David Clark, has decided to step down on July 1.

Clark, a 23-year company veteran, is one of the company’s most tenured employees and joined Amazon straight out of grad school in 1999 as an Operations Manager in Kentucky. Since then, the former music teacher has served in a variety of senior roles including SVP of Worldwide Operations, VP of Global Customer Fulfillment and VP of North America Operations.

Amazon hasn’t named Clark’s replacement to oversee the core business unit, which includes the company’s e-commerce operations, physical stores, third-party seller marketplace and Amazon Prime subscriptions. In a blog post, CEO Andy Jassy said he would share updates over the coming weeks.

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In the announcement, Clark called himself “a builder at heart” and revealed that he has had his eye on the door “for some time.” He went on to say that before he departed he wanted to ensure the teams were set up for success.

“I feel confident that time is now,” Clark stated. “We have a great leadership team across the Consumer business that is ready to take on more as the company evolves past the customer experience challenges we took on during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also have a solid multi-year plan to fight the inflationary challenges we are facing in 2022. I leave knowing that the leaders in the Consumer business are world class and will take the next phase of Amazon to remarkable levels of success.”

The outgoing S-Team leader leaves Amazon’s core e-commerce business unit to deal with several issues that have sprung up as the world reopens and economic outlooks have started to change.

In Amazon’s Q1 2022 earnings report, ended March 31, 2022, the company revealed that its consumer business has grown 23% annually over the past two years, including 39% year-over-year growth in 2020. Rapid growth during the height of COVID-19 pandemic pushed the company to double the size of its fulfillment network and increase hiring, however a changing economy has left the company overextended.

“As the variant subsided in the second half of the quarter and employees returned from leave, we quickly transitioned from being understaffed to being overstaffed, resulting in lower productivity,” CFO Brian Olsavsky said on a recent earnings call.

The labor issues in Amazon’s consumer business don’t stop there as the company has also faced the growing push for unionization at some of its warehouses. So far facilities in New York and Alabama have held votes on the matter with mixed results. The push has resulted in Amazon taking reputational hits due to its allegedly aggressive anti-union tactics.

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