Amazon Names Doug Herrington as New Boss of Worldwide Stores

Amazon.com Inc.

AMZN 2.32%

has named longtime executive

Doug Herrington

as its new boss of world-wide stores following the departure of

Dave Clark,

who led its warehousing and e-commerce operations and is leaving the company.

Mr. Herrington, a 17-year Amazon veteran, will receive a new title as chief executive officer of Worldwide Amazon Stores, Amazon CEO

Andy Jassy

said in a memo to company employees on Tuesday. Mr. Clark’s role had been CEO of Worldwide Consumer, where he oversaw the company’s consumer-facing website and sprawling logistics and delivery network.

John Felton,

also a longtime senior Amazon leader who has worked under Mr. Clark, will be the company’s new head of operations and report to Mr. Herrington, Mr. Jassy said.

“He is a builder of great teams and brings substantial retail, grocery, demand generation, product development, and Amazon experience to bear,” Mr. Jassy wrote about Mr. Herrington. “He’s also a terrific inventor for customers, thinks big, has thoughtful vision around how category management and ops can work well together, is a unifier, is highly curious, and an avid learner.”

As part of the shake-up, two Amazon senior executives are leaving the company, it confirmed Tuesday. Alicia Boler Davis, who has overseen the company’s fulfillment network, and Dave Bozeman, vice president of transportation services, are both departing. Ms. Davis and Mr. Bozeman have been among a shortlist of Black executives at the company in senior leadership positions. Ms. Davis, who some inside the company saw as a potential replacement for Mr. Clark, was the first Black woman to be a part of Amazon’s S-Team, a leadership group that includes the company’s most senior executives.

Mr. Herrington will take the reins of Amazon’s flagship online-shopping platform, which has struggled after growth has slowed from pandemic heights. The company has only two CEO titles under Mr. Jassy, the other being CEO of its cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services.

The promotions of Mr. Herrington and Mr. Felton come after a period in which Amazon saw some turnover among its senior executives, some of which came during Mr. Jassy’s first year as CEO.

The company has entered a period of cost-cutting after two years of tremendous growth, and Mr. Jassy has applied greater scrutiny to the e-commerce and logistics business. Amazon’s new leader is working to cut back the excesses of that aspect of the company’s operations after an unprecedented expansion during the pandemic.

Mr. Herrington is part of the company’s S-Team and has led the company’s work in consumables, fashion, its Amazon Fresh division, consumer electronics and various other businesses. He also played a large role in Amazon’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw it expand its warehouse operations widely while launching testing and vaccine services.

Mr. Herrington joined Amazon in 2005 as a vice president of consumable products. He was previously the CEO at online media site KeepMedia and has a background in online grocery sales.

Mr. Felton, who has been at Amazon for about 18 years, joined the S-Team in 2020. He joined Amazon as a financial analyst and in 2019 began to oversee the company’s handling of imports and exports, its logistics division and “last mile” delivery services.

The pair have a big hole to fill. Mr. Clark, the outgoing consumer chief, played one of the most integral roles in building the company’s legendary logistics services and shepherding it through the pandemic’s ups and downs. During his tenure, Mr. Clark oversaw the company’s warehouse expansion to thousands of locations in the U.S. and engaged in a massive hiring spree during the health crisis. Mr. Clark earlier this month disclosed plans to leave Amazon and was soon after named CEO of Flexport Inc. a digital-focused freight forwarder.

Dave Clark, who has led Amazon’s warehousing and e-commerce operations, is moving to a logistics startup.



Photo:

lindsey wasson/Reuters

Amazon faces one of its toughest stretches in years. The company is looking to cut costs after it overshot future demand expectations and as its sales have slowed in recent quarters. Amazon is planning to sublease at least 10 million square feet of excess warehouse space, defer construction of new facilities and renegotiate leases with outside warehouse owners. It has also pared back hiring recently and looked to rein in the effects of high inflation by introducing new charges to sellers.

Amazon’s logistics operations were heavily strained during the pandemic. The company doubled the capacity of its fulfillment network, but as the pandemic waned, it was left with too much space. In April, the company said it expected the excess space to contribute to $10 billion in extra costs in the first half of 2022.

Mr. Clark emailed his resignation letter to Mr. Jassy about a week after presenting a three-year plan to Amazon’s directors at a meeting at its Seattle headquarters, The Wall Street Journal reported last week. His plan included reducing Amazon’s massive warehousing network in the immediate term, thinning out its worker base through attrition and improving operational efficiency.

The board of directors and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos were enthusiastic about the plan. Mr. Clark, however, was tired by the past two years and aiming to have more autonomy. When he told Mr. Jassy of his plans, Mr. Jassy didn’t try to persuade him to stay, the Journal reported.

The line between Amazon and Walmart is becoming increasingly blurred, as the two companies seek to maintain their slice of the estimated $5 trillion retail market while chipping away at the other’s share, often by borrowing the other’s ideas. Photos: Amazon/Walmart

Write to Sebastian Herrera at [email protected]

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