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Amazon consumer chief Jeff Wilke to retire in early 2021

Amazon consumer chief Jeff Wilke to retire in early 2021
In an email to employees, Wilke said, "It's just time" to leave the company after 21 years. File Photo by Friedemann Vogel/EPA-EFE

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Jeff Wilke, one of Amazon's top leaders, will retire from his post as CEO of the retailer's consumer division early next year, a regulatory filing showed Friday.

Amazon said in the filing Wilke will retire in the first quarter of 2021 and will be replaced by Dave Clark, who's been Amazon's senior vice president for worldwide operations since 2013.

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Wilke is considered the second-most powerful executive at Amazon behind founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

As CEO of consumer operations -- by far Amazon's largest business -- Wilke is in charge of all retail operations, including the online marketplace, Amazon Prime and Whole Foods. A 21-year veteran of the company, Wilke was promoted to the post in 2016.

"I don't have a new job, and am as happy with and proud of Amazon as ever," Wilke wrote in an email to employees. "I treasure the deep relationships we forged as we grew this company.

"So why leave? It's just time ... Time for me to take time to explore personal interests that have taken a back seat for over two decades."

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Bezos praised Wilke in a message to workers, calling him a "tutor" and "an incredible teacher to all of us."

"He is simply one of those people without whom Amazon would be completely unrecognizable," he added.

Like Wilke, Clark joined Amazon in 1999, five years into its existence, and is in charge of its supply chain and delivery services.

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