Jay Carney will become senior vice president and head of global corporate affairs, a new job at the company.
Amazon.com hired former White House press secretary Jay Carney to run global corporate affairs, company spokesman Craig Berman confirmed Thursday.
The news was first reported by the website Politico.
Carney will become senior vice president and head of global corporate affairs, a new job at the company. He’ll oversee both the public relations and public policy teams, splitting time between Washington, D.C., and Seattle.
Carney will report directly to Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. Amazon’s public-relations boss Berman will report to Carney, as will Paul Misener, who runs the company’s lobbying efforts.
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According to Amazon, Carney was not available to discuss the move.
Carney served as President Obama’s press secretary from 2011 to 2014. Previously he was a journalist, covering the White House and serving as Time magazine’s Washington, D.C., bureau chief.
He left the White House in June of last year, and has worked as a senior political analyst for CNN. He will leave that job to work full time for Amazon.
Carney joins a long line of political operatives who have parlayed their White House work into corporate gigs.
Last year, the taxi-alternative service Uber hired David Plouffe, Obama’s former campaign manager and White House adviser, as senior vice president of policy and strategy. In 2012, Microsoft hired Mark Penn, a former adviser to President Clinton and to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, as corporate vice president of strategic and special projects
Amazon hasn’t said why it hired Carney. Like any big company, Amazon’s had its share of bruising press, particularly last year’s contentious seven-month dispute over e-book sales terms with the book publisher Hachette.
Amazon has also become more active as a lobbyist in recent years, spending to $4.9 million in 2014, nearly twice as much as it spent in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Some $200,000 of that money came from subsidiary, Amazon Prime Air, the would-be drone-delivery service that needs regulatory changes to begin operation. The company is also backing the Marketplace Fairness Act, which includes a uniform sales tax that would be applied in every state and on every online retailer with sales above $1 million.