Dave Clark, Amazon’s logistics czar who masterminded its massive expansion during the pandemic, just resigned. What will he do next?
Amazon’s logistics CEO Dave Clark announced his imminent departure from the company on Friday, ending a 23-year tenure as one of Jeff Bezos’s top lieutenants.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has not yet announced a replacement.
“I expect to be ready with an update for you over the next few weeks,” Jassy wrote in a blog post announcing the departure.
Clark is the second major tech CEO to announce an exit this week, following Meta’s Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday.
Clark’s departure, effective July 1, was reported in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Clark started at Amazon as an operations manager in Kentucky after completing business school, before moving up the ranks. He assumed his current role in 2020 after serving as senior vice president of worldwide operations for eight years.
Given his stance at the forefront of Amazon’s entire operation, Clark’s departure raises the question of where he goes from here, as well as what the departure says about the economy at large.
During the past several years, Clark’s division saw turbocharged growth as warehouses and goods fulfillment exploded, especially during the first two years of the pandemic. This year, however, Amazon reported stalled growth in its first quarter. During the company’s most recent earnings report, Jassy announced that the company is “no longer chasing physical or staffing capacity” in its fulfillment network.
That announcement matches a wider economic trend in the U.S. as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.
“Pandemic-driven goods demand has boosted employment in service industries that fill goods demand rather than goods-producing industries,” wrote Bank of America economists Aditya Bhave and Jeseo Park in a research report released Friday. Recently, consumers have begun to focus on services rather than goods, now that most pandemic restrictions have lifted.
Clark has not provided a hint as to where he’s headed.
“For some time, I have discussed my intent to transition out of Amazon with my family and others close to me, but I wanted to ensure the teams were set up for success,” he wrote in a letter posted to Twitter. “I feel confident that time is now.”
Over the past decade, however, Amazon has become a veritable factory for C-suite executives. Last April, former Amazon senior vice president of web services Charlie Bell left after 23 years for an executive position at Microsoft. In 2018, vice president of Amazon Tickets David Glick left to become chief technology officer of logistics startup Flexe.
The next time you hear from Clark, it could be from somewhere big.