Former Amazon consumer chief Dave Clark has a new job: co-CEO, and eventually sole CEO, of $8 billion-valued supply chain software startup Flexport.
Clark, whose resignation announced on Friday surprised observers, finishes up as CEO of Amazon’s massive Worldwide Consumer division last day on July 1. And on September 1, he will take over as Flexport’s co-chief executive, alongside Flexport founder Ryan Petersen. Flexport plans for the 49-year-old Clark to become the company’s sole CEO six months later, with Petersen, 41, moving to an executive chairman role at the business he founded in 2013.
In an interview, Petersen said he and Flexport connected with Clark as part of a search for chief operating officer that the company had conducted over the past few months. “My big fear for Flexport is just that we’re not good enough to reach our potential,” Petersen tells Forbes. After discussions with Clark, Petersen says the decision to phase the veteran executive into running all of Flexport, and not just some teams, was his own decision. “There’s a perfect complement of skill sets,” Petersen says. “Mine are much more creative, zero-to-one founder time, and Dave is the supreme executor and a legend in the supply chain world.”
Most recently valued by private market investors at $8 billion, Flexport offers digital freight forwarding and other software tools like customs compliance, inventory financing and insurance to businesses shipping across 112 countries, from Georgia-Pacific’s paper towels and toilet paper to Sonos speakers and Rothy’s shoes. An alum of the startup accelerator Y Combinator, Flexport is backed by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, e-commerce platform Shopify and SoftBank.