internal-memo:-longtime-amazon-exec-jeff-blackburn-returns-after-temporary-hiatus-to-guide-new-leisure-unit
Amazon government Jeff Blackburn speaks at his alma mater, Dartmouth College, in 2015. (Dartmouth/Eli Burakian Photo, used with permission.)

Blackburn’s again.

Longtime Amazon exec Jeff Blackburn is returning to the Seattle tech big, only a few months after he departed and spent 5 weeks at a Silicon Valley enterprise capital agency.

Incoming Amazon CEO Andy Jassy — who will exchange Jeff Bezos later this 12 months — shared the information Thursday in an electronic mail despatched to the corporate’s senior management crew and obtained by GeekWire.

Blackburn, a 22-year Amazon vet who was considered one of Bezos’ high lieutenants, will lead a brand new “Global Media & Entertainment” group that may embrace Prime Video and Amazon Studios, Music, Podcasts/Wondery, Audible, Games, and Twitch. He begins June 7.

“Jblack’s interest in returning to Amazon presented us with a good opportunity to combine our entertainment businesses in a single org under a leader who knows them well,” Jassy wrote within the electronic mail (learn in full under). “Often, the best time to make org changes is when things are going well. Fortunately, each of these businesses is on a very positive path.”

“We believe that bringing them together will help us innovate for creators even more quickly, coherently, and across multiple mediums,” Jassy added.

Amazon spent $11 billion on video and music content material in 2020, up from $7.8 billion. The firm makes use of its media arm to assist increase the worth of its $119/12 months Prime membership.

Blackburn will report back to Bezos, after which to Jassy when Bezos steps down as CEO and turns into government chairman.

Blackburn, 51, introduced his retirement from Amazon in February. He then landed a gig at storied enterprise capital agency Bessemer Venture Partners. It was a brief stint.

“We understand his desire to return to an operating role and wish him the best of luck,” a Bessemer spokesperson mentioned final week. Blackburn transitioned to a brand new advisory position as a particular restricted companion at Bessemer.

In an organization memo shared when Blackburn left Amazon in February, Bezos wrote: “I predict that Jeff will be every bit as amazing in his new role as he’s been in all his roles at Amazon. Easy prediction.”

Blackburn, who attended Dartmouth and Stanford, took a year-long sabbatical beginning in 2020. His affiliation with Amazon began when he was a junior funding banker at Deutsche Bank, assigned to work on the Amazon IPO. During his greater than 21 years of energetic work on the firm, Blackburn led key companies together with Amazon’s third-party gross sales, Prime Video, Amazon Music and Amazon Advertising, working alongside Bezos on key enterprise initiatives.

Mike Hopkins, SVP of Amazon Video and Studios and a member of Amazon’s senior management crew, will report back to Blackburn.

Read the complete memo under.

I wished to share the excellent news that Jeff Blackburn has determined to return to Amazon as SVP of a brand new Global Media & Entertainment group that may embrace Prime Video and Amazon Studios, Music, Podcasts/Wondery, Audible, Games, and Twitch.

Many of you realize Jblack from his earlier time with the corporate. He joined Amazon in 1998 after serving to information the corporate by its IPO at Deutsche Bank. He did loads of constructing over two-plus a long time, together with our 3P market, Advertising, Amazon Studios/Prime Video, Music, A9/Search, and our Corp Dev org (M&A and BizDev groups).

Jblack’s curiosity in returning to Amazon offered us with alternative to mix our leisure companies in a single org beneath a pacesetter who is aware of them properly. Often, the most effective time to make org modifications is when issues are going properly. Fortunately, every of those companies is on a really optimistic path—Amazon Studios was not too long ago nominated for 12 Oscars (and gained 2 of them!), Prime Video has had 175 million prime members stream exhibits and films previously 12 months and simply gained the rights to be the unique dwelling of NFL Thursday Night Football beginning in 2022. Twitch has grown dramatically over the previous 15 months and our Games Studio is launching its highly-anticipated sport, “New World,” this summer season. Music continues to develop rapidly and has launched Podcasts now in 10 international locations, and Audible Original, “The Sandman,” grew to become the bestselling unique in Audible’s historical past (with a second installment later this 12 months)—these are only a few of the various successes and milestones for these companies. We imagine that bringing them collectively will assist us innovate for creators much more rapidly, coherently, and throughout a number of mediums.

Jblack will report back to Jeff B till the transition in Q3, after which he’ll report back to me. Mike Hopkins, Steve Boom, Don Katz, Mike Frazzini, and Emmett Shear will report into Jblack when he begins on June seventh.

Please be happy to share the information together with your groups as you would like.