Dave Clark, the prominent ex-Amazon executive who was instrumental in building the company’s supply chain apparatus, announced on Wednesday that he is leaving Flexport, a global freight forwarding company valued at $8 billion.
Clark officially joined Flexport in September 2022 as co-CEO with Flexport founder Ryan Petersen. Clark, according to plan, assumed the role of CEO in March, while Petersen became Flexport’s executive chairman.
However, a staffwide memo sent from Clark on Wednesday afternoon signaled a change of plans: Petersen will seemingly reclaim the title of Flexport CEO. Clark is leaving Flexport altogether, though he will remain a shareholder.
Two minutes after the email was delivered to Flexport’s staff of approximately 3,200 workers (with the email subject “Thank you Flexport.”), Clark posted the text on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Founders have the right to change their mind,” Clark wrote in a statement attached to his Wednesday morning post on X. “I came to Flexport to do big things and that’s where I believe we were headed. Today, Ryan and I discussed his desire to return to focusing on growth in the core freight business. In light of that, I feel that he is best suited to lead the company in that direction. As such, I will be resigning from my position at Flexport.”
The leadership shuffle appears to be sudden. On Tuesday, the day before Clark stepped down, Flexport advertised an in-person event to launch a new product hosted by Clark and Petersen.
While at Flexport, Clark hired several key ex-Amazon people for roles at the company, including its chief commercial officer and senior vice president of operations and the leadership for its new truck brokerage.
Flexport laid off about 20% of its staff, or 700 workers, in January amid a global slowdown in trade volumes.
Petersen announced in July that he was becoming a partner of the Founders Fund, a leading venture capital firm led by billionaire Peter Thiel.
Neither Clark nor Petersen immediately responded to a request for comment. A Flexport representative also did not immediately respond.
This is a developing story.
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