Amazon faces exodus of 45 top execs — here's why

Amazon is navigating its biggest leadership change ever, with the resignation of its CEO and the departure of at least 45 other top executives in the past 15 months, Insider reported April 21. 

Forty-five vice presidents and senior executives have left Amazon, according to the Insider analysis. Nine of the executives had been with the company for more than 20 years, while another 11 had been with Amazon for more than a decade. 

"The risk-reward isn't there for big leaders to stay at Amazon right now," a former company executive told Insider. "It would not surprise me if 2021 has more VP attrition than 2020." 

Amazon, which has approximately 350 vice presidents, experienced a turnover rate of more than 10 percent at the vice-presidential level and above over the last 15 months, according to the report. 

Seven of the executives who left the company since the beginning of 2020 spoke to Insider on the condition of anonymity. They cited several reasons for the executive departures, including Amazon's culture and opportunities for better pay or a chance to join a C-suite. At least 15 of the executives who left Amazon went on to get a C-suite position in their new jobs, according to Insider

An Amazon spokesperson told Insider that the company has great retention and continuity of leadership. 

"The average tenure is 10 years for our vice presidents and more than 17 for our senior vice presidents," the spokesperson said. "Like with any company, people leave from time to time for personal or professional reasons — many return to the company over the course of their careers."

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