New York TimesJuly 5, 2021 10:18:48 AMT
When Andy Jassy is promoted to CEO of Amazon Monday, taking the lead from its founder Jeff Bezos, it’s one of the most watched leadership changes in recent years.
But much less reported – albeit deeply meaningful – change has already taken place in the company. Dozens of Amazon senior executives have left in the last 18 months, many while working there for more than a decade.
It is an unusual disorder within a business. Outgoing leaders do not represent a huge portion of the top ranks, as there are hundreds of vice presidents now. But for years, Amazon’s leaders were considered lifelong. Many had been there since the early days of the company. They were loyal to Amazon, whose rise in share price often made them wealthy.
Bezos described this relationship. So did Jeff Wilke, who ran the global consumer business, and Steve Kessel, who ran its physical stores, and others who presented and ran important programs like Alexa, free shipping, and much of its cloud business. Now those leaders are gone.
The fact that Wilke and Bezos are leaving so close to each other means “epic, tectonic transitions,” said former Amazon vice president David Glick, who is now chief technology officer at logistics company Flexen.
Wilke and Kessel retired, but many vice presidents go to top positions in public companies or fast-growing startups. Teresa Carlson, who built the Amazon state cloud business for more than a decade, became the growth director for Splunk, a data software provider, in April. real estate company Compass product manager. Maria Renz, another former Shadow of Bezos who started at Amazon in 1999, is now the CEO of a personal finance company, SoFi.
In recent years, Bezos has largely withdrawn from Amazon’s day-to-day business, focusing instead on strategic projects and outside companies such as its space platform, Blue Origin, giving its deputies even more independence. On July 20, he is scheduled to fly for his rocket company’s first manned spaceflight.
This article originally appeared New York Times.
Karen Weise [c.2021 The New York Times Company]