Amazon consumer business head Jeff Wilke to retire early next year By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Amazon logistics center in Lauwin-Planque

(Reuters) – Inc (O:) said on Friday that its consumer chief executive, Jeff Wilke, would retire early next year after more than two decades with the company.

Dave Clark, 47, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, will replace Wilke as CEO of that business, the company said in a filing.

Wilke, 53, was widely considered to be a potential successor to Amazon’s top boss, Jeff Bezos, 56, who founded the company in 1994.

Bezos said in a note to staff, shared with Reuters, that Wilke’s “legacy and impact will live on long after he departs. He is simply one of those people without whom Amazon would be completely unrecognizable.”

Wilke does not have a new job but felt “it’s just time” to move on and for other members of the company to step up or expand their roles, he said in a separate email to staff. Three people – John Felton, Alicia Boler Davis and Dave Treadwell – would also join Amazon’s senior team, Wilke said.

Clark, who replaces Wilke, has overseen the delivery operation that has been key to Amazon’s success with shoppers. Also at Amazon for over two decades, Clark has built out the company’s last-mile delivery service, air cargo fleet and warehouse operations that have helped speed delivery times for loyalty club Prime members to two days or less.

The company last month posted the biggest profit in its 26-year history as online sales and its lucrative business supporting third-party merchants surged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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