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Internal memo: Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on senior exec departures, ‘s-team’ diversity

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy. (File Photo by Dan DeLong)

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy addressed the news that the company is losing two of its most senior Black executives, including the only Black executive among its senior leadership group, commonly known as the “s-team,” in a message to senior leaders Tuesday night.

In the message, obtained by GeekWire, Jassy acknowledged the contributions of the departing executives, Alicia Boler Davis, senior vice president of global customer fulfillment and s-team member; and Dave Bozeman, vice president of Amazon Transportation Services.

Alicia Boler Davis. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

“Though we’ve made substantial progress in hiring Level 8 and Level 10 black leaders the last two years, it’s not lost on any of us that we’re losing two of our most senior black leaders,” Jassy wrote, adding that he’s “committed to continuing to hire and develop black senior leaders, as well as leaders in other under-represented segments.”

Their departures coincide with Amazon’s announcement that Doug Herrington, a veteran of its consumer business, will be promoted to the new role of CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores, after the departure of top consumer exec Dave Clark.

Boler-Davis was one of Clark’s direct reports, and was considered a potential successor. She resigned to pursue new opportunities. Bozeman has taken a new role outside Amazon expected to be announced soon.

Last year, Amazon pledged to double Black employees in leadership after it did so in 2020. Black senior leaders made up 3.8% of the company in 2020; that number rose to 5.5% in 2021, according to Amazon’s latest diversity stats.

The New York Times, Bloomberg News and Insider reported the news of the expected departures of Boler Davis and Bozeman on Tuesday.

Here’s the full message from Jassy to the s-team.

Suspect that you all saw the org announcements earlier today.

Coincident with these changes, Alicia Boler Davis and Dave Bozeman have decided to leave Amazon. I’m truly sorry to see them leave as they both have added significant value to the company.

Alicia joined Amazon at a crazy time (we were just launching 1-day Prime), and it only got more challenging with the pandemic the last two years. There’s no way we could have nearly doubled our Fulfillment network the last two years without Alicia’s steadfast and tenacious leadership. She has taught us a lot in three years at Amazon, has been a valuable steam member, and I’m very appreciate of her contribution and work. Similarly, Dave has been here a little over five years and built out our middle mile network, which has been an integral part of our transportation capability. There is no transportation network as we know it today without Dave’s leadership and guidance. I have a lot of respect for them both, we will miss them, and I know that the companies where they next settle will be very fortunate.

Though we’ve made substantial progress in hiring Level 8 and Level 10 black leaders the last two years, it’s not lost on any of us that we’re losing two of our most senior black leaders. Change sometimes brings about other changes, and it’s often challenging to navigate some of these shifts. But, I am (as I know the rest of steam is) committed to continuing to hire and develop black senior leaders, as well as leaders in other under-represented segments. We have a lot of meaningful leadership roles at the company, and we’re working hard to become as diverse and inclusive as we desire. We have a lot of work left to do. We’ll remain vigilant about it while always making sure we make the right decisions for customers and the business.

Please feel free to share with team members as helpful.

Andy

Note: Timing of Jassy’s email corrected since original post.

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