Amazon's air cargo head changes jobs, will now oversee workplace-safety unit

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A wide assemblage craft emblazoned with Amazon's Prime logo lands astatine Lehigh Valley International Airport successful Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 20, 2016. Picture taken December 20, 2016. To lucifer Insight AMAZON.COM-SHIPPING/ REUTERS/Mark Makela

REUTERS/Mark Makela

Sarah Rhoads, who was liable for Amazon's burgeoning aerial cargo business, is shifting roles to oversee the e-retailer's workplace wellness and information division.

John Felton, Amazon's caput of worldwide operations, announced the determination successful a enactment to staffers connected Thursday, according to a transcript of the memo viewed by CNBC. Rhoads volition besides beryllium successful complaint of Amazon's planetary operations learning and improvement unit, which deals with things similar vocation advancement and skills betterment successful the company's front-line workforce.

"Safety is paramount successful each facet of aerospace and different industries look to aviation for champion practices successful safety," Felton wrote successful the memo. "Sarah's inheritance arsenic a decorated subject aviator and her occurrence leading Amazon Global Air positions her arsenic the perfect person to presume this captious role."

Raoul Sreenivasan, who joined Amazon successful 2016 and presently oversees planning, show and cargo for Amazon Global Air, volition instrumentality implicit astir of Rhoads' Amazon Air responsibilities, Felton said. Prior to joining Amazon, Sreenivasan worked astatine DHL and TNT Express, a European courier acquired by FedEx.

Rhoads, a erstwhile U.S. Navy F-18 pilot, has been 1 of the apical executives successful Amazon's sprawling logistics business. She joined the e-commerce elephantine successful 2011.

Over the past respective years, Amazon has steadily moved much of its fulfillment and logistics operations successful house, gathering a proscription web that the institution says rivals UPS successful size.

As portion of an effort to grip and present much of its ain packages, Amazon launched an aerial cargo business. Rhoads joined Amazon Air successful its aboriginal days and has overseen overmuch of the unit's growth, including the opening of a $1.5 cardinal aerial hub successful Kentucky.

Amazon has contracted much rider airlines to alert packages successful summation to different operators similar Atlas Air and ATSGSun Country, a leisure-focused carrier, began flying converted Boeing 737 freighters for Amazon in 2020, aft question collapsed successful the Covid pandemic. In October, Amazon announced that it reached an statement with Hawaiian Airlines to fly leased Airbus A330 converted freighters, which would beryllium the largest craft in Amazon's fleet and its archetypal Airbus jets. The planes volition assistance regenerate older jets successful the company's fleet, Amazon said.

Air cargo rates person plunged from grounds highs deed during precocious 2021, erstwhile larboard snarls and a dearth of planetary flights pinched capableness and drove up prices. The rebound successful aerial question has added capableness to the market, portion ostentation has fueled shifts in user spending. FedEx past twelvemonth said it would parkland immoderate craft and trim immoderate of its flights arsenic portion of its plan to slash costs.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is successful the midst of a wide overview of the company's expenses arsenic the institution reckons with an economical downturn and slowing maturation successful its halfway retail business. Amazon rapidly scaled up its fulfillment and proscription web successful caller years successful effect to a pandemic-driven surge successful demand. It's since closed, canceled oregon delayed respective warehouses crossed the U.S.

The institution has besides faced increasing unit to code its workplace-safety record. Employees criticized Amazon's coronavirus response, arguing it wasn't doing capable to support them connected the job, and the institution has faced wide scrutiny implicit the wounded rates successful its warehouses.

In September, Amazon appointed Becky Gansert to oversee its workplace wellness and information portion aft Heather MacDougall resigned from the company, CNBC antecedently reported.

Amazon has disputed reports of unsafe moving conditions. During MacDougall's tenure, the institution acceptable ambitious goals to trim injuries, including a plan to chopped recordable incidental rates, a national authorities measurement covering wounded and illness, by fractional by 2025. 

Last twelvemonth Amazon committed to go "Earth's Best Employer," adding it to its database of firm values, adjacent arsenic labour unrest intensified. The enforcement tasked with overseeing that effort, Pam Greer, departed Amazon past April, according to Bloomberg.

Correction: Sarah Rhoads joined Amazon successful 2011. An earlier mentation misstated the year.

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