Longtime Amazon executive Jeff Wilke to retire next year

Business

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon retail chief Jeff Wilke is retiring early next year.

He will be replaced by Dave Clark, who runs the company’s warehouses and delivery network, the company said Friday.

Wilke, 53, has been at Amazon for more than two decades. His oversight grew along with the company, overseeing not just Amazon.com, but its Whole Foods grocery stores and physical book shops.

In an email to staff, Wilke said that he doesn’t have another job lined up.

“So why leave? It’s just time,” he wrote in the email. “Time for me to take time to explore personal interests that have taken a back seat for over two decades.”

Wilke said he will focus on running the company through the holiday season.

“He is simply one of those people without whom Amazon would be completely unrecognizable,” Bezos wrote in a memo to staff. “Thank you, Jeff, for your contributions and your friendship.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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