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The Drum Digital Transformation Festival launch

Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

Amazon ad chief Jeff Blackburn to take a year-long sabbatical in 2020

Blackburn’s temporary departure comes amid a period of change at Amazon’s top team / Amazon

One of the most senior executives at Amazon, senior vice-president of business, entertainment and corporate development Jeff Blackburn, is to take a year of absence from the firm in 2020.

A close advisor to founder and chief exec Jeff Bezos, Blackburn has been integral to the business since he joined in 1998 and is currently in overall charge of a number of the company’s most important divisions including video streaming and advertising.

Confirming Blackburn’s extended leave an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC: “Jeff Blackburn has decided to take a one-year sabbatical with his wife and extended family following more than 21 years at Amazon, leading everything from our third-party business, to Prime Video, Amazon Studios, Amazon Music, and Amazon Advertising. Jeff’s sabbatical will begin in early 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back in 2021.”

Blackburn’s temporary departure comes amid a period of change at Amazon’s top team following the departure of senior vice-president of marketplace Sebastian Cunningham last year for WeWork and the loss of senior vice-president of international business Diego Piacentini, who elected not to return after taking two year’s out.

Blackburn is believed to be worth around $132.5m thanks to an ownership stake in Amazon of 71,000 shares.

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