Amazon’s Consumer Boss, Dave Clark, Steps Down

Image credit: Amazon

Changing the old guard. Dave Clark, Amazon’s head of consumer business, is stepping down amid after surviving shareholder vote on compensation

Dave Clark, the chief executive of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, announced last Friday he is stepping down from the role for ‘new opportunities.’

Clark is an Amazon veteran, having been with Amazon for 23 years and was in charge of the online retailers consumer business.

His departure is another sign of a change of the old guard at Amazon, after the departure of founder and long-time CEO Jeff Bezos in July last year, and a number of other vice presidents.

Jassy clash?

Last week the compensation for chief executive Andy Jassy, worldwide consumer unit chief Dave Clark and Amazon Web Services chief Adam Selipsky was narrowly approved by Amazon’s shareholders, delivering a reprimand to the company as a record 15 investor resolutions were all defeated.

But Reuters has reported that there may be another reason for Dave Clark stepping down, which cited a person familiar with the matter as saying that Clark no longer wanted CEO Jassy to second-guess him.

And there seems to be little love lost, after CEO Jassy reportedly said he expects to name a replacement in the next few weeks and that the company has work ahead “to get to where we ultimately want to be” in the division that Clark ran.

Clark joined Amazon in May 1999, a day after graduating from business school. He reportedly 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 his career at Amazon, he successfully created from scratch an in-house delivery operation that rivalled veteran delivery operations such as FedEx, DHL and others.

He was also the public face of Amazon’s resistance to trade union efforts, and in March 2021 he responded on Twitter after left wing US Senator Bernie Sanders announced he would meet workers in Alabama, who were voting on whether to form a trade union.

He said at the time that the US senator should save his finger wagging lecture until after he actually delivers in his own backyard.

But Clark was also the Amazon face when he announced in September last year that the firm would pre-pay full college tuition and fees for more than 750,000 frontline staff.

Notable departures

Clark said on Twitter it was time for him to ‘start a new journey’ and that he was a ‘builder at heart’.

Clark is not the only high profile tech executive to resign last week, after Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of both Meta and Facebook, confirmed last Wednesday she was to leave the firm after 14 years.