Flexport names Amazon’s Dave Clark as CEO

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Dave Clark, the architect of Amazon.com Inc.’s transportation and logistics business, who announced his resignation last week, said on Wednesday he would become CEO of Flexport, the global freight transportation company, at from September 1.

Ryan Petersen, founder and top CEO of Flexport, will serve as co-CEO for the first six months, Flexport said. Petersen will then become the company’s executive chairman.

Clark will also join Flexport’s board of directors.

In his announcement on Twitter, Clark said he will focus on creating Flexport solutions to address the many high-profile issues that have plagued supply chains over the past two years. US supply chains have “entered the daily national discourse for all the wrong reasons,” Clark wrote, adding that supply chains suffer “from significant technology and process fragmentation.”

Clark said Flexport, in tackling the complex issue of global cross-border movement of goods, has gone “where few tech companies have dared to tread due to the vast array of regulatory rules, daunting geographic distances and siled network of suppliers”.

San Francisco-based Flexport has “built a technology platform that solves…this difficult integration of technology and the physical world by connecting the entire global commerce ecosystem,” Clark wrote.

Clark revealed last Friday that he would be leaving Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) on July 1 after 23 years of service there. He currently leads Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer unit, which includes the ubiquitous retail platform and supporting transportation and logistics functions. Clark was promoted to this role in 2020. No successor has yet been named.

In last week’s announcement, Clark gave no specific reason for his departure other than to say he wanted to help build the fortunes of another organization. In Flexport, Clark thinks he found this business.

“It gives (Clark) a chance to rebuild,” said David Glick, who worked with Clark for years at Amazon and is now chief technology officer at Flexe, an on-demand storage provider. Despite its success and growing importance, Flexport “still has a huge slate” of potential ahead of it, according to Glick.

Clark invented Amazon’s current transportation and logistics network, which was assembled primarily to provide one-to-two-day deliveries of items ordered by subscribers to its Prime service. Amazon now has nearly 96 aircraft in its fleet. It also has hundreds of tractors and thousands of trailers that integrate with its flight operations. During Clark’s tenure, Amazon opened its long-planned $1.5 billion air cargo hub at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Clark joined Amazon in 2001 after completing his MBA at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Clark was rising through the ranks of operations and fulfillment when in January 2013 he was named senior vice president of global operations, which included what was then a fledgling shipping and logistics company that exclusively outsourced its transportation.

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