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Amazon Consumer Business Chief Makes a Big Change After 23 Years

Dave Clark, a former lieutenant of Jeff Bezos, is departing amid challenges of over expansion and unionization fights.
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Big tech is experiencing a big shift in C-Suite talent as high ranking executives from some of the world's largest companies take their leave. 

Amazon is the latest company to announce a big shift as Consumer Chief from Amazon  (AMZN) -  after 23 years at with company. 

Clark's resignation becomes effective on July 1. 

Meta Platforms COO Sheryl Sandberg announced her departure earlier this week.

In the wake of Clark's decision, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy suggested that more changes could be coming to the consumer division which appears to have expanded too far since the start of the pandemic. 

"As we shared last week during our annual shareholder meeting, we still have more work in front of us to get to where we ultimately want to be in our Consumer business," Jassy said in a statement. 

"While change is never easy, I’m optimistic about the plan that the Consumer team has built and have confidence that if we stay focused on executing it, we’ll deliver the right experiences for customers and results for the business."

Besides Amazon's warehouse overbuild, Clark has been in the news due to the company's battles against unionizing employees. 

Making Headlines for the Wrong Reasons

Clark was one of Amazon Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos' top lieutenants during his time at the company. 

But earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board began holding hearings to review Amazon's practices during a failed unionization drive at the company's warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. 

Fewer than 30% of voters supported joining the union in an apparent victory for management. 

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However, the NLRB review found that Clark supported an effort to install a mailbox at the site of the warehouse in an act that the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union says created the impression of surveillance and confused potential voters by suggesting that the company was involved in collecting and counting votes

“Please let me know where we stand on this — this is a highly visible Dave Clark initiative,” Becky Moore, a senior manager of transportation procurement and strategy at Amazon, wrote in an email to USPS officials in January, according to the the review, . 

Amazon has had mixed success preventing unionization efforts at its warehouses. 

The vote in March was the second time employees at the plant rejected unionization efforts. Clark's actions may have helped Amazon with that battle, but his being tied to the mailbox scheme may have cost him his job. 

The workers at the JFK8 Staten Island warehouse voted in April to create a union, a blow to the company that spent $4.3 million in 2021 to pay labor consulting firms to fight the efforts to create a union, according to U.S. Department of Labor filings.

High-Profile Tech Departures

Earlier this week, Sheryl Sandberg caused waves after it was announced she was stepping down as Chief Operating Officer of Meta Platforms  (FB) -  after 14 years with the company. 

Ms. Sandberg had joined Facebook in October 2008. She is credited with transforming the platform into an online advertising giant. Sandberg is indeed seen as the person who managed to help the firm of Menlo Park in California to monetize its audience and make money.

She is seen as a Silicon Valley heavyweight and one of the most powerful women in the business world after having formed, with Zuckerberg, one of the most prominent duos in the tech world.

"On May 28, 2022, Sheryl Sandberg informed Meta Platforms of her decision to resign from her position as chief operating officer of the company after a transition period," the company said in the SEC filing.

Following her resignation, Ms. Sandberg will continue to serve as a member of the board, which will appoint Javier Olivan as COO.