Petersen back at Flexport as Dave Clarke departs
07 / 09 / 2023
Dave Clark. Source: Flexport
Ex-Amazon executive Dave Clark has left his role as chief executive of Flexport with Ryan Petersen stepping back in to run the company.
Clark took up the role in September 2022 as the forwarder looked to expand in e-commerce and fulfillment.
In a social media post, Clark said that Petersen had changed his mind on the company’s direction.
“I came to Flexport to do big things and that’s where I believe we were headed. Today, Ryan and I discussed his desire to return to focussing on growth in the core freight business.
“In light of that, I feel he is best suited to lead the company in that direction.
“As such, I will be resigning from my position at Flexport.”
Clark worked for Amazon for more than two decades in a range of logistics roles, most recently as chief executive of Worldwide Consumer, as the company expanded to become the e-commerce behemoth it is today.
He also held the roles of senior vice president worldwide operations, vice president global customer fulfilment, and vice president North America operations and is credited with
Following the news, Petersen said important changes are needed to sustain growth and return to profitability.
“Flexport sits at a crossroads where the choice is either spend our way out of the current downturn in global logistics or pursue a path that gets us back to profitability quickly,” he said.
“The board and I agree that operational excellence and profitability in the near term in the short term is the right path.”
He added: “The main way we grow is by talking to customers. Flexport leaders must pro-actively engage with our clients to understand their needs and then lead our teams to solve their problems and earn their trust.
Six months into Clark’s appointment, Flexport announced the purchase of Shopify Logistics, including e-commerce fulfillment company Deliverr, as the company looked to extend the reach of its logistics offering.
And today, the company unveiled a new end-to-end logistics solution that allows SMBs to integrate with major e-commerce marketplaces like Shopify, Amazon, and Walmart.
He also saw the appointment of several ex-Amazon execs at Flexport.
Earlier this year, Flexport announced it would trim employees by around 20% in response to expected reduced volumes following increasingly challenging economic conditions.
Clark and Peterson said in a note issued at the time: “We are overall in a good position, but are not immune to the macroeconomic downturn that has impacted businesses around the world.
“Our customers have been impacted by these challenging conditions, resulting in a reduction to our volume forecasts through 2023.
“Lower volumes, combined with improved efficiencies as a result of new organisational and operational structures, means we are overstaffed in a variety of roles across the company.”
The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, suggests that Clark may run for governor of Texas.