Dave Clark, Amazon's Former Logistics Head, Out As Flexport CEO
Clark announced the move on X, formerly Twitter, writing that he was hired at the firm 12 months ago by founder and Executive Chair Ryan Petersen "to take the company to the next level," which included expanding as a full-service logistics provider.
"Founders have a right to change their mind," Clark, who was previously head of Amazon's consumer division, wrote. "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."
While Clark wrote that he resigned, logistics trade publication FreightWaves reported Thursday that he was dismissed by Flexport's board. Petersen is stepping back into the CEO role, he announced with a post on X.
I'm back!!!— Ryan Petersen (@typesfast) September 6, 2023
Petersen wrote in a memo to Flexport staff, which he shared on X, that despite Flexport's "fortress balance sheet" and $1B in cash, the company has started to take losses. It laid off 700 workers, or 20% of its staff, in January, FreightWaves reported.
"It's clear that important changes are needed to sustain our growth and return to profitability," Petersen wrote Wednesday evening. "Flexport sits at a crossroad where the choice is either to spend our way out of the current downturn in global logistics or pursue a path that gets us back to profitability quickly. The board and I agree that operational excellence and profitability in the near-term is the right path."
Clark was hired at Flexport in June 2022, shortly after resigning his longtime position at Amazon, where he led the company's rapid expansion of its logistics network and eventually was named Amazon's consumer CEO. His official start at Flexport was Sept. 1 of last year, when he began as co-CEO with Petersen before becoming sole CEO six months later.
In his time leading Flexport, Clark led the acquisition of Shopify's logistics operations and hired former Amazon executives to his leadership team. His next move could be a political one. The Wall Street Journal reported that Clark had hired political consultants to advise on a potential campaign for Texas governor.
Clark didn't confirm the WSJ's reporting, but he did respond to a post on X about his weighing a run for governor:
God Bless Texas. https://t.co/Bss9NP7gwd— Dave Clark (@davehclark) September 7, 2023