Dave Clark is resigning as CEO of Flexport lower than a 12 months after becoming a member of the corporate, and it’s as a result of his predecessor, the corporate’s founder, modified his thoughts about stepping down, Clark mentioned on Wednesday.
Clark, who left Amazon final summer season after a starry two-decade profession on the e-retailer after dropping a bake-off to former Amazon Internet Companies chief Andy Jassy, joined Flexport in September of final 12 months as co-CEO. An organization press launch from final summer season asserting Clark’s appointment referred to as him “one of many world’s finest operators at scale,” whereas Flexport founder Ryan Petersen informed Geekwire that Clark would “shepherd Flexport into essentially the most thrilling part of our journey.”
As of Wednesday, nonetheless, it seems like Petersen will probably be main the flock alone. “Founders have the correct to alter their minds,” Clark wrote on X (previously Twitter), including that he had been introduced in to “take the corporate to the subsequent degree” and ship on a imaginative and prescient of disrupting the logistics trade. As a substitute, it’s a back-to-basics transfer, he advised.
“At this time, Ryan and I mentioned his want to return to specializing in development within the core freight enterprise,” he mentioned. “In mild of that, I really feel that he’s finest suited to guide the corporate in that course. As such, I will probably be resigning from my place at Flexport.”
In a press release confirming the change of management, an organization spokesperson informed Fortune, “Ryan and the remainder of the board thank Dave Clark for his management over the previous 12 months. Flexport has nothing additional to share on this matter right now.”
It’s the second high-profile departure for Clark, a veteran logistics government who spent most of his profession at Amazon, the place he made his title and rose to guide its worldwide shopper enterprise. A staunch defender of the corporate, Clark famously locked horns with progressive senator Bernie Sanders after the Vermont Unbiased expressed assist for a union drive at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse, together with an in-person go to. (The employees in the end rejected unionizing.)
“I typically say we’re the Bernie Sanders of employers, however that’s not fairly proper as a result of we truly ship a progressive office for our constituents: a $15 minimal wage, well being care from day one, profession development, and a protected and inclusive work atmosphere,” Clark informed Insider in 2021.
“So if you wish to hear about $15 an hour and well being care, Senator Sanders will probably be talking downtown. However if you need to make at the very least $15 an hour and have good well being care, Amazon is hiring,” he mentioned.
Clark was additionally a vocal defender of Amazon on X, lashing out at politicians (and comic John Oliver) who criticized the corporate. In 2020, when employees at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island moved to unionize, Vice reported that Clark was concerned in a failed marketing campaign to smear one of many organizers, together with by portray him as “not good or articulate.”
At Amazon, Clark was typically named as a doable successor to founder Jeff Bezos. However he was in the end handed over for Andy Jassy, who had led Amazon’s cloud division earlier than ascending to the highest spot. Clark moved from Amazon’s Seattle headquarters to Houston the 12 months earlier than leaving, and upon his resignation informed Forbes that he had “outgrown my pleasure a little bit bit” and was craving for a stint as CEO at a smaller firm.
He might now be eyeing an excellent greater scale of management: The Wall Avenue Journal reported that he’s contemplating working for governor of Texas and has employed political consultants for that aim.