At the same time, the model Mr. Clark built has faced growing pressures. Policymakers and employees have questioned the company’s employment model, which provides an average minimum wage above $18 an hour but relies on a stream of workers cycling in and out of the company. Workers on Staten Island this year voted to form a union, which the company is contesting.
The company’s latest financial results showed that Amazon overexpanded, having more warehouse and labor capacity than customer demand as the pandemic-fueled boost in e-commerce receded. Company executives said it was looking to rebalance its spending.
“Our teams are squarely focused on improving productivity and cost efficiencies throughout our fulfillment network,” Mr. Jassy said in a statement at the time.
Mr. Clark was an aggressive defender of Amazon. In a tweet he has since deleted, last year he goaded Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, who was supporting workers trying to unionize. “I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace,” Mr. Clark wrote. In another tweet that was deleted, he wrote that Mr. Sanders should “save his finger wagging lecture until after he actually delivers in his own backyard.”
The top of Amazon’s ranks has gone through the biggest changes in its history over the past two years. Mr. Clark was promoted to run the consumer business when Jeff Wilke, a longtime executive, retired. Then Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, stepped down as chief executive last year and named Mr. Jassy his replacement.