Jeff Blackburn, the longtime Amazon.com executive who announced his departure this week, has landed at Bessemer Venture Partners.
Blackburn will be a partner at the venture capital firm, which made early investments in Shopify, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twilio. Bessemer also made a bet on streaming business Twitch, which Amazon acquired.
Investors at Bessemer got to know Blackburn through that acquisition and other Amazon investments. Jeremy Levine, a partner at Bessemer, said that “the breadth of stuff he did at Amazon” makes Blackburn uniquely qualified to be a venture capitalist.
Bessemer said Thursday that it has raised a combined $3.3 billion in two new funds for both early and growth-stage investing. Bessemer raised $2.4 billion across its last two funds in 2018.
Blackburn’s departure from Amazon followed the disclosure that Jeff Bezos is stepping aside as chief executive officer later this year, moving to executive chairman. As a trusted Bezos lieutenant, Blackburn was among a group of senior leaders who joined the online bookseller in the 1990s and expanded it to a globe-spanning conglomerate.
Before taking a sabbatical last year, Blackburn oversaw a wide range of businesses, including Amazon’s television and movie studio and music streaming service, as well as corporate development and a fast-growing advertising unit.
While many of Amazon’s first-generation executives are still at the Seattle company, Blackburn’s departure came amid a partial changing of the guard in the senior ranks. Since the beginning of 2020, the leaders of Amazon’s global retail and logistics business and its physical stores unit left the company.
Bessemer now has 21 partners globally.