Former Amazon executive Jeff Blackburn, who in February announced his resignation after 22 years at the company, is returning to the Seattle commerce giant to helm a new division encompassing Amazon’s media and entertainment ventures, incoming Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced Thursday.
“Jblack’s interest in returning to Amazon presented us with a good opportunity to combine our entertainment businesses in a single org under a leader who knows them well,” Jassy wrote in an email to employees, referring to Blackburn by his internal Amazon handle. The new Global Media & Entertainment division will include Prime Video and Amazon Studios, Music, Podcasts/Wondery, Audible, Games, and Twitch.
“Often, the best time to make org changes is when things are going well,” Jassy wrote in the memo, which was first reported by Geekwire. “Fortunately, each of these businesses is on a very positive path.”
The new division entails some reshuffling of Amazon’s organizational chart. Currently, Twitch and Amazon Games are folded into Amazon Web Services, where their directors, Emmett Shear and Mike Frazzini, report to Jassy. Those groups will be moved under Blackburn’s umbrella. Mike Hopkins, the head of Amazon’s Prime Video arm and a member of Amazon’s senior leadership team, will start reporting to Blackburn rather than directly to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Blackburn joined Amazon in 1999, after working on the company’s initial public offering while a junior associate at Deutsche Bank. In his two decades at the company, Blackburn headed key business areas including third-party sales, Prime Video, music and advertising.
Blackburn had been on sabbatical for a year before he announced his resignation in February. At the time, Bezos joked that “the ‘too many Jeffs’ bug that’s been bothering many of you for two decades has been fixed!”
Blackburn then spent five weeks working at Silicon Valley investment firm Bessemer Venture Partners.
Bessemer said in a statement last week it understands Blackburn’s “desire to return to an operating role and [we] wish him the best of luck.”
Blackburn returns to Amazon on June 7.