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GeekWire reports that "Steve Kessel, the Amazon executive who oversaw the e-commerce giant’s landmark expansion into bricks-and-mortar retail, plans to leave the company early next year." Kessel, who has been with Amazon for two decades, "also led the launch of the original Kindle e-reader earlier in his career."

In an email to employees, Kessel said he would "focus on community service, not for profit work, and other areas of interest.”

An excerpt from his email:

"It’s hard to leave something I’ve loved doing for so long, inventing alongside a fantastic group of people, but it’s a good time to make this change because of the teams and plans we have in place.

"I’ve been able to see and participate in a lot during the last 20 years, and it’s clear to me that it is still Day 1 – our recent announcements of free grocery delivery for Prime Members is a good example! It’s been a privilege to watch this organization innovate and build, and I look forward to seeing what comes next."

• Walmart announced that it has promoted Meredith Klein, who has been serving as’s director of media and PR, to be director of public relations, handling incubated brands such as Jet and Bonobos.
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