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Prospective Bezos Replacement to Leave Amazon

By James Brumley – Aug 24, 2020 at 1:00PM

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Jeffrey Wilke, CEO of the e-commerce giant's worldwide consumer business, is retiring after two decades with the company.

The long-tenured Amazon (AMZN -0.77%) executive often pegged as a potential replacement for CEO Jeff Bezos is stepping down. The company reported in an SEC filing submitted on Friday that Jeffrey Wilke, chief of its worldwide consumer unit, will retire in the first quarter of the coming year. Senior Vice President of Retail Operations Dave Clark will be promoted to the position.

While Bezos is considered the face of the company and is almost synonymous with Amazon, Wilke has left his mark. He's been with the company since 1999, and was promoted to CEO of its worldwide consumer arm in 2016. He's largely credited with building the company's logistics capabilities that allow it to control around 40% of North America's e-commerce market, according to numbers from eMarketer.

Businessman leaving job, holding box of personal items

Image source: Getty Images.

Wilke also made a point of ensuring all new employees spent time in fulfillment centers so they would know exactly what happens on the company's front lines, where products are picked and packed after an online purchase is made. It's impossible to know just how much that real-world exposure helped to shape Amazon's operation.

Dave Clark brings a wealth of this frontline experience to the role. He's held multiple managerial roles at several fulfillment centers, and helped to establish fulfillment centers including the one built in Tokyo, Japan. Clark was also hired by Amazon in 1999 after receiving his MBA, but at 47 years old, is five years younger than Wilke. His age and a slightly different perspective on e-commerce's advent may also become evident through changes made when he takes over Wilke's job.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. James Brumley has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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