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Logistics Startup Run By Amazon's Former Warehouse Czar To Lay Off 20% Of Workforce

Amazon executive Dave Clark (right) meeting with then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly in 2017.

Dave Clark left his position atop Amazon’s logistics empire to lead a smaller enterprise. Now, the company he joined is shrinking.

Flexport, a logistics software platform and consulting firm, is laying off 20% of its global workforce, Clark and Ryan Petersen, the company's co-CEOs, said in a note to employees posted to the company’s blog. The duo said Flexport is in a good financial position, but that reductions in shipping volume from its customers and a more efficient operating structure leaves it “overstaffed in a variety of roles across the company.”

Despite the departures, Flexport is in the process of doubling its software engineering talent, the note read. 

“The current slowdown in volume gives us time to focus on building our technology bench while the economy lags,” Clark and Petersen said in the note. “Then, as the economy recovers, we will be ready to be the Flexport that we all want to be the one stop for customers to make the movement of goods around the world easy.”

When Clark left Amazon for Flexport in June, his job was to guide rapid expansion, Petersen said at the time. Plans called for the two to serve as co-CEOs for six months starting Sept. 1, 2022, with Petersen transitioning to the role of executive chairman thereafter and Clark assuming all CEO responsibilities.

The period of breakneck expansion that Clark oversaw as CEO of Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer division — since renamed as Worldwide Amazon Stores and helmed by Doug Herrington — ended up overshooting the mark by so much that Amazon could take years to rightsize its logistics footprint. Now, the rest of the logistics industry in the U.S. is in retreat due to the imposing state of the economy.

Related Topics: Dave Clark, Flexport, Ryan Petersen