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Senior Black Executives Are Out At Amazon Amid Management Shakeup

By Matt Day and Spencer Soper

Two of Inc.’s top Black executives are leaving amid a management shakeup as Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy puts his stamp on the company about a year into his tenure.

Alicia Boler Davis, a senior vice president who oversaw Amazon’s logistics warehouses, and Dave Bozeman, vice president of transportation services, “have decided to explore new opportunities outside Amazon,” newly named operations division chief John Felton said in an email to staff. 

Alicia Boler Davis

The departures coincide with the announcement that Doug Herrington will run the company’s sprawling retail and logistics operation with the new title chief executive officer of Worldwide Stores. He replaces Dave Clark, a 23-year veteran who helped create a warehouse network and in-house delivery service that speeds packages to customers in two days or less. Felton, who has been with the company for 18 years, will oversee the operations division and report to Herrington.

Herrington, who lives near Jassy in Amazon’s hometown Seattle, is ascending at a challenging moment. Online sales growth has slowed now that consumers are returning to their pre-pandemic spending habits, leaving Amazon with too much warehouse space. One of his first tasks will be to shrink the operation to current demand without impairing the company’s ability to ramp up when online sales growth resumes.

He will also have to navigate continuing labor unrest at Amazon warehouses. An upstart union earlier this year won the right to represent workers at a fulfillment center in New York, a result Amazon is challenging. The company is also under pressure from politicians for its fast pace of work and injury rates that are higher than some rivals in warehousing.

Before Amazon, Herrington worked for Webvan, a grocery delivery service that went bust during the dot-com era. He became leader of Amazon’s North American consumer business in 2015, which encompasses both online and physical stores. In recent years, Amazon has started a cashierless chain of convenience stores, acquired Whole Foods Market and launched Amazon Fresh supermarkets.

Boler Davis was a big hire when she joined Amazon in 2019, fresh from a well-regarded stint at General Motors Co., where she ran global manufacturing and labor relations. Her hiring to oversee more than 175 of Amazon’s biggest warehouses around the world came as the logistics unit worked to cultivate a deeper bench of executives, at times by reaching outside the company.

She quickly became one of the Amazon’s most high-profile executives, defending Amazon’s safety record and working conditions at an annual shareholders meeting and interviewing Jassy in a question-and-answer session broadcast to employees shortly after he became CEO.

Bozeman joined Amazon in 2017. He previously worked at Caterpillar and Harley Davidson.

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