A wide-body plane emblazoned with the Amazon Prime logo lands at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 20, 2016. Picture taken December 20, 2016. To match Insight AMAZON.COM-SHIPPING/ REUTERS/Mark Makela
Sarah Rhoads, who was responsible for AmazonA growing air freight business is switching roles to oversee the e-retailer’s workplace health and safety division.
John Felton, head of Amazon’s global operations, announced the move in a memo to employees Thursday, according to a copy of the memo seen by CNBC. Rhoads will also be in charge of Amazon’s global operational learning and development department, which deals with things like career advancement and upskilling of the company’s frontline employees.
“Safety is paramount in every aspect of the aerospace industry, and other industries look to aviation for safety best practices,” Felton wrote in the memo. “Sarah’s decorated military pilot and her success at the helm of Amazon Global Air position her as the ideal leader to take on this critical role.”
Raoul Sreenivasan, who joined Amazon in 2016 and currently oversees scheduling, performance and cargo for Amazon Global Air, will take over most of Rhoads’ responsibilities at Amazon Air, Felton said. Before joining Amazon, Sreenivasan worked at DHL and TNT Express, the European courier acquired by FedEx.
Rhoads, a former U.S. Navy F-18 pilot, was one of the top executives in Amazon’s growing logistics business. Over the past few years, Amazon has steadily moved more of its fulfillment and logistics operations in-house and built a shipping network that the company says rivals its own. UPS in the size.
In an effort to handle and deliver more of its own packages, Amazon has launched an air freight business. Rhoads joined Amazon Air in its early days and oversaw much of the unit’s growth, including the opening $1.5 billion air hub in Kentucky.
Amazon, in addition to other operators such as e.g., has contracted other airlines to fly packages Atlas Air and ATSG. Land of the Suncarrier focused on free time, he began to fly transferred Boeing 737 cargo ships for Amazon in 2020 after travel collapsed during the Covid pandemic. In October, Amazon announced that it had reached an agreement with Hawaiian Airlines fly leasing Airbus A330 converted freighters, which would be the largest aircraft in Amazon’s fleet and its first Airbus jet. The planes will help replace older jets in the company’s fleet, Amazon said.
Air cargo rates have tumbled from record highs in late 2021, as port snarls and a lack of international flights have constrained capacity and pushed up prices. A recovery in air travel has increased market capacity, while inflation has powered shifts in consumer spending. FedEx said last year that it would park some planes and reduce some of its flights as part of its operations they plan to cut costs.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is in the middle of a broad review of the company’s spending as the company braces for an economic downturn and slower growth in its core retail business. Amazon has rapidly expanded its distribution and shipping network in recent years in response to a pandemic-induced surge in demand. Since then, several warehouses across the US have been closed, canceled or delayed
The company has also faced increasing pressure to address its workplace safety record. Workers have criticized Amazon’s response to the coronavirus, saying it did not do enough to protect them on the job, and the company has faced widespread scrutiny of injury rates in its warehouses.
In September, Amazon named Becky Gansert to oversee its workplace health and safety department after Heather MacDougall resigned from the company, This was reported earlier by CNBC.
Amazon disputed reports of unsafe working conditions. During MacDougall’s tenure, the company set ambitious goals to reduce injuries, including plan cut recordable incidents, OSHA’s measure of injury and illness, in half by 2025.
Last year, Amazon made the commitment to become “Earth’s Best Employer” and add it to its list of corporate values, even as labor unrest intensified. The executive overseeing the effort, Pam Greer, left Amazon last April Bloomberg.
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