Dave Clark, Amazon Vice President of Global Operations, speaks during a press conference in Seattle, Washington, US, June 27, 2018. Lindsey Wasson – Reuters
Dave Clark said on Wednesday that Dave Clark is stepping down as CEO of Flexport less than a year after joining the company, because his predecessor, the company’s founder, had changed his mind about stepping down.
Clark, who left Amazon last summer after a stellar two-decade run in the e-retailer after losing out to former Amazon web services chief Andy Jassy, joined Flexport in September last year as co-CEO. A company press release issued last summer announcing Clarke’s appointment called him “one of the world’s best wide-scale operators,” while Flexport founder Ryan Petersen said: Geekware That Clark “will lead Flexport into the most exciting phase of our journey.”
However, as of Wednesday, it looks like Petersen will single-handedly lead the flock. “Founders are entitled to change their minds,” Clark wrote on X (formerly Twitter), adding that he was hired to “take the company to the next level” and offer a vision to disrupt the logistics industry. He suggested instead that it is a step back to basics.
“Today, Ryan and I discussed his desire to return to focus on growth in our core freight business.” He said. “In light of this, I feel he is best suited to lead the company in this direction. As such, I will be resigning from my position at Flexport.
A company spokesperson said in a statement confirming the change of leadership luckRyan and the rest of the Board thank Dave Clark for his leadership over the past year. Flexport has nothing else to share about this at this time.
It’s the second high-profile departure for Clark, a veteran logistics executive who spent most of his career at Amazon, where he made his name and rose to lead its worldwide consumer business. Clark, a staunch defender of the company, famously sparred with progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders after The Vermont Independent newspaper expressed support for a union campaign at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse, including a personal visit. (The workers eventually refused to unionize.)
“I often say we’re like Bernie Sanders for employers, but it’s not entirely true because we really offer a progressive workplace to our constituents: $15 minimum wage, health care from day one, career advancement, and a safe, inclusive work environment.” Clark told Insider. in 2021.
So if you want to hear about $15 an hour and health care, Senator Sanders will be speaking downtown. But if you want to make at least $15 an hour and get good health care, Amazon is hiring.
Clarke has also been an outspoken advocate of Amazon on X, lashing out at politicians (and comedian John Oliver) who have criticized the company. In 2020, when workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island unionize, Vice It reported that Clarke was involved in a failed campaign to discredit an organizer, including portraying him as “not smart or articulate”.
At Amazon, Clarke was often named as a potential successor to founder Jeff Bezos. But it was eventually passed in favor of Andy Jassy, who led Amazon’s cloud division before rising to prominence. Clark had moved from Amazon’s Seattle headquarters to Houston the year before he left, and told him so upon his resignation Forbes that he “was a little over my joy” and longed to be an executive at a smaller company.
He may now be looking forward to a greater range of leadership: The Wall Street Journal He reported that he was considering a run for governor of Texas and had hired political advisors to achieve that goal.