Jeff Blackburn, a former high-level Amazon exec who just recently left after more than two decades, is coming back — in a newly created role, giving him oversight over a consolidated media group.
The new appointment was announced internally Thursday by Andy Jassy, currently CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS), who is set to succeed Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO in the third quarter.
Blackburn “has decided to return to Amazon as SVP of a new Global Media & Entertainment organization,” Jassy wrote in a memo to employees. Blackburn’s oversight will include Prime Video and Amazon Studios, Amazon Music, podcasts/Wondery, Audible, games and Twitch.
Blackburn, who had departed in February to join Bessemer Venture Partners, will rejoin Amazon on June 7. Blackburn will report to Bezos until the CEO transition in Q3, and then he’ll report to Jassy.
The roles of Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, and Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke remain unchanged. Hopkins will report to Blackburn.
Even for Amazon, media represents a big and growing business segment. In 2020, the company spent $11 billion on TV shows, movies and music for Prime services — up 40% from the year prior.
Blackburn originally joined Amazon in March 1998 and since 2006 was part of the elite “S-team” of direct Bezos reports. His work at the company spanned numerous projects, including the company’s third-party marketplace, business development and advertising. Over the last several years, he focused on Amazon’s media business, including Prime Video, Amazon Studios, IMDb and Amazon Music.
Pictured above: Jeff Blackburn (r.) and Jeff Bezos at the 89th Annual Academy Awards in 2017
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