Well, that didn't take long.
It was just a couple of days ago that Dave Clark, a 23-year Amazon veteran who currently is CEO Worldwide Consumer, in charge of the company's logistics and operations network, announced that he'd be leaving the company, effective July 1.
Yesterday Clark said that on September 1, he'll be joining San Francisco-based logistics company Flexport as CEO. He'll in fact work alongside founder and current CEO Ryan Petersen as co-CEO for six months, at which point Peterson will become executive chairman.
“Over the last two decades, Dave helped scale Amazon into the technology and supply chain juggernaut it is today,” Petersen said in a statement. “He is a builder and an entrepreneur at heart, with the leadership experience that will shepherd Flexport into the most exciting phase of our journey.”
Clark had said one of the reasons he wanted to leave Amazon was that he wanted to get back to building things; presumably, Flexport will provide him with the opportunity to do so. In a LinkedIn posting yesterday, he said, "I am fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with an incredible team who are building a customer-first, rocket ship of a company focused on architecting and building solutions for the most complicated supply chain problems through world class technology for the physical world."
On its website, Flexport describes its mission this way:
Take Control ofYour Supply Chain. Accelerate performance and growth for your entire supply chain. Ship to and from anywhere. Track everything. Collaborate with everyone. See what happens when data drives your decisions.
GeekWire provides the following assessment: "Clark, 49, will take over one of the leading privately held global supply chain companies in Flexport, which was valued at $8 billion after raising a $935 million Series E round in February. Founded in 2013, Flexport provides cloud-based freight forwarding and brokerage services for ocean, air, truck, and rail, among other offerings such as insurance and customs compliance."
While Flexport and Amazon are not direct competitors, GeekWire points out "Amazon has been building out its logistics arm and its recent announcement of a 'Buy with Prime' program, serving e-commerce sites other than Amazon.com, takes the company further down the path of using its fulfillment and delivery network to offer shipping as a service."
The Wall Street Journal writes:
"Flexport has been an investor darling, raising $2.3 billion in venture capital as its efforts to bring digital technology tools to shipping have drawn Silicon Valley investors into the freight business. The company most recently raised $935 million in February in a Series E investment round, led by venture-capital giant Andreessen Horowitz and billionaire Michael Dell’s MSD Partners.
"The founding round brought its valuation to $8 billion.
"Flexport has about 3,500 employees across 23 offices around the world."
- KC's View:
Clark will have a significantly smaller playground in which to operate, with fewer resources than the virtually inexhaustible supply that he had at Amazon. But I have to imagine that at some level, he'll have a lot more fun. There were some references in the media coverage about his departure from Amazon that he'd lost the joy in going to work; some of that has to be because of the challenges that Amazon has been facing lately, but it also must've been because that's a natural occurrence when you've spent more than two decades in one place.
Sometimes, it is just time to go. In this case, that probably aligns with Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's desire to get his own team in place.
In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, Jassy said, "I think that Dave wanted a different gig at this point, and I don’t begrudge him at all."