Amazon CEO acknowledges loss of Black leaders in internal memo

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy speaks at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle on Oct. 5, 2021.

David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy acknowledged the loss of two top Black drivers, who lead warehouses and transportation, in a corporate email Tuesday night.

Jassy’s email sang the praises of the directors, adding that he “truly regrets seeing them leave because they have both added significant value to the company.” The note was previously reported by Seattle tech blog Geekwire.

Jassy’s recognition came Tuesday night after the company announced this week that Alicia Boler-Davis, senior vice president of global customer satisfaction and a member of the company’s leadership team, and David Bozeman, VP of Amazon Transportation Services, would leave the company .

“While we’ve made substantial progress over the last two years in hiring Level 8 and Level 10 black leaders, it has not lost one of us that we are losing two of our most senior black leaders,” Jassy’s email continued. .

Their departure came after Amazon announced earlier this month that Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark would resign on July 1. On Tuesday, Jassy announced that longtime Amazon CEO Doug Herrington will take over the consumer business as the new CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores. Boler-Davis was in the running to become a potential successor.

Both were among the few top Black executives of the company. Boler-Davis was the only black member of Amazon’s “S-team”, which is the company’s senior leadership team.

Amazon has made progress on diversity in its executive ranks in recent years, but still only 5.5% of its senior leaders were black by the end of 2021, according to company data.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Jassy’s email concluded.

Here was Jassy’s full note:

Suppose you all saw the org announcements earlier today.

Along with these changes, Alicia Boler Davis and Dave Bozeman have decided to leave Amazon. I really regret that they are leaving because they have both added significant value to the company.

Alicia came to Amazon at a crazy time (we just launched 1-day Prime), and it only got more challenging with the pandemic the last two years. There’s no way we’ve been able to nearly double our Fulfillment Network over the last two years without Alicia’s solid and solid leadership. She has taught us a lot in three years at Amazon, has been a valuable Steam member, and I really appreciate her contribution and work. Likewise, Dave has been here a little over five years and expanded our mid-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 the companies they live in will be very happy.

Although we have made substantial progress over the last two years in hiring level 8 and level 10 black leaders, it is not one of us to lose that we are losing two of our most senior black leaders. Change sometimes brings about other changes, and it is often challenging to navigate some of these shifts. But, I am (as I know the rest of s team is) committed to further hiring and developing black senior leaders, as well as leaders in other under-represented segments. We have many meaningful leadership roles at the company, and we work hard to become as diverse and inclusive as we want. We still have a lot of work to do. We will keep an eye on it, while always making sure we make the right decisions for customers and the business.

Feel free to share with team members as helpful.

Andy


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