Amazon CEO acknowledges lack of Black leaders in inner memo

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy speaks in the course of the GeekWire Summit in Seattle on Oct. 5, 2021.

David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy acknowledged shedding two prime Black executives, who led warehouses and transportation, in an organization e mail Tuesday evening.

Jassy’s e mail sang the executives’ praises, including that he is “really sorry to see them go away as they each have added important worth to the corporate.” The notice was beforehand reported by Seattle tech weblog Geekwire.

Jassy’s acknowledgement Tuesday evening got here after the corporate announced this week that Alicia Boler-Davis, senior vp of world buyer achievement and a member of the corporate’s management staff, and David Bozeman, VP of Amazon Transportation Companies, can be departing the corporate.

“Although we’ve made substantial progress in hiring Stage 8 and Stage 10 black leaders the final two years, it’s not misplaced on any of us that we’re shedding two of our most senior black leaders,” Jassy’s e mail continued.

Their departures got here after Amazon introduced earlier this month that CEO of Worldwide Consumer Dave Clark will resign on July 1. On Tuesday, Jassy announced longtime Amazon govt Doug Herrington will take over the buyer enterprise as the brand new chief govt of Worldwide Amazon Shops. Boler-Davis was within the working to be a possible successor.

Each had been among the many firm’s few prime Black executives. Boler-Davis was the one Black member of Amazon’s “S-team,” which is the corporate’s senior management staff.

Amazon has made progress on range in its govt ranks lately, however nonetheless solely 5.5% of its senior leaders had been Black as of the tip of 2021, in keeping with company data.

“Now we have quite a lot of work left to do,” Jassy’s e mail concluded.

Right here was Jassy’s complete notice:

Suspect that you simply all noticed the org bulletins earlier at this time.

Coincident with these adjustments, Alicia Boler Davis and Dave Bozeman have determined to go away Amazon. I am really sorry to see them go away as they each have added important worth to the corporate.

Alicia joined Amazon at a loopy time (we had been simply launching 1-day Prime), and it solely obtained more difficult with the pandemic the final two years. There isn’t any manner we may have almost doubled our Achievement community the final two years with out Alicia’s steadfast and tenacious management. She has taught us loads in three years at Amazon, has been a helpful steam member, and I am very respect of her contribution and work. Equally, Dave has been right here slightly over 5 years and constructed out our center mile community, which has been an integral a part of our transportation functionality. There isn’t a transportation community as we all know it at this time with out Dave’s management and steering. I’ve quite a lot of respect for them each, we’ll miss them, and I do know that the businesses the place they subsequent settle might be very lucky.

Although we have made substantial progress in hiring Stage 8 and Stage 10 black leaders the final two years, it is not misplaced on any of us that we’re shedding two of our most senior black leaders. Change typically brings about different adjustments, and it is usually difficult to navigate a few of these shifts. However, I’m (as I do know the remainder of s staff is) dedicated to persevering with to rent and develop black senior leaders, in addition to leaders in different under-represented segments. Now we have quite a lot of significant management roles on the firm, and we’re working exhausting to turn out to be as numerous and inclusive as we need. Now we have quite a lot of work left to do. We’ll stay vigilant about it whereas all the time ensuring we make the suitable selections for patrons and the enterprise.

Please be at liberty to share with staff members as useful.

Andy

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