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

A large physique plane emblazoned with Amazon’s Prime emblem 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

REUTERS/Mark Makela

Sarah Rhoads, who was answerable for Amazon‘s burgeoning air cargo enterprise, is shifting roles to oversee the e-retailer’s workplace well being and safety division.

John Felton, Amazon’s head of worldwide operations, introduced the transfer in a observe to staffers on Thursday, in keeping with a duplicate of the memo seen by CNBC. Rhoads will even be in control of Amazon’s international operations studying and growth unit, which offers with issues like profession development and upskilling within the firm’s frontline workforce.

“Safety is paramount in each facet of aerospace and different industries look to aviation for greatest practices in safety,” Felton wrote within the memo. “Sarah’s background as a embellished navy pilot and her success main Amazon Global Air positions her as the perfect chief to imagine this essential position.”

Raoul Sreenivasan, who joined Amazon in 2016 and at the moment oversees planning, efficiency and cargo for Amazon Global Air, will take over most of Rhoads’ Amazon Air duties, Felton mentioned. Prior to becoming a member of Amazon, Sreenivasan labored at DHL and TNT Express, a European courier acquired by FedEx.

Rhoads, a former U.S. Navy F-18 pilot, has been one of many high executives in Amazon’s sprawling logistics enterprise. Over the previous a number of years, Amazon has steadily moved extra of its success and logistics operations in home, constructing a transportation community that the corporate says rivals UPS in measurement.

As a part of an effort to deal with and ship extra of its personal packages, Amazon launched an air cargo enterprise. Rhoads joined Amazon Air in its early days and has overseen a lot of the unit’s progress, together with the opening of a $1.5 billion air hub in Kentucky.

Amazon has contracted extra passenger airways to fly packages along with different operators like Atlas Air and ATSGSun Country, a leisure-focused service, began flying transformed Boeing 737 freighters for Amazon in 2020, after journey collapsed within the Covid pandemic. In October, Amazon introduced that it reached an settlement with Hawaiian Airlines to fly leased Airbus A330 converted freighters, which might be the most important plane in Amazon’s fleet and its first Airbus jets. The planes will assist change older jets within the firm’s fleet, Amazon mentioned.

Air cargo charges have plunged from report highs hit throughout late 2021, when port snarls and a dearth of worldwide flights pinched capability and drove up costs. The rebound in air journey has added capability to the market, whereas inflation has fueled shifts in shopper spending. FedEx final yr mentioned it will park some plane and cut back a few of its flights as a part of its plan to slash costs.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is within the midst of a broad overview of the corporate’s bills as the corporate reckons with an financial downturn and slowing progress in its core retail enterprise. Amazon quickly scaled up its success and transportation community in recent times in response to a pandemic-driven surge in demand. It’s since closed, canceled or delayed a number of warehouses throughout the U.S.

The firm has additionally confronted rising strain to deal with its workplace safety report. Employees criticized Amazon’s coronavirus response, arguing it wasn’t doing sufficient to guard them on the job, and the corporate has confronted widespread scrutiny over the harm charges in its warehouses.

In September, Amazon appointed Becky Gansert to oversee its workplace well being and safety unit after Heather MacDougall resigned from the corporate, CNBC previously reported.

Amazon has disputed stories of unsafe working situations. During MacDougall’s tenure, the corporate set bold targets to scale back accidents, together with a plan to chop recordable incident charges, an OSHA measurement masking harm and sickness, by half by 2025. 

Last year Amazon committed to grow to be “Earth’s Best Employer,” including it to its listing of company values, at the same time as labor unrest intensified. The govt tasked with overseeing that effort, Pam Greer, departed Amazon final April, in keeping with Bloomberg.

WATCH: Inside the rapid growth of Amazon Logistics and how it’s taking on third-party shipping

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