They call him The Sniper: The man who built Amazon’s delivery machine


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They call him The Sniper: The man who built Amazon’s delivery machine - Seattle Times

Shortly after being named’s global logistics chief in 2013, Dave Clark held a conference call with his new reports. During the meet-and-greet, according to a person on the call, Clark described his early-career habit of lurking in the shadows of Amazon warehouses and scoping out slackers he could fire, which earned him the nickname The Sniper. Clark speaks in a monotone and is hard to read, but the message was clear enough: The new boss wanted his underlings to know that he will let little stand in the way of ensuring that customers get their orders on time.

The Sniper demonstrated his determination yet again this month, when — at the height of the holiday shopping rush — he essentially fired FedEx. Clark’s team had noticed that FedEx’s delivery performance was slipping and banned third-party merchants from using the logistics giant’s ground network for the rest of the season.

Clark has not forgotten the shambolic holiday season of 2013. Just months after he had taken over, a combination of foul weather and logistical bottlenecks derailed holiday deliveries and forced Amazon to issue refunds to irate shoppers. It was an unprecedented setback for a company that puts customers at the center of everything. Determined to prevent a recurrence, Clark has since spent billions building a sprawling delivery operation that includes a worldwide network of robot-filled warehouses, fleets of planes and delivery vans, and hundreds of thousands of workers.