Sarah Rhoads, who was responsible for Amazon‘s burgeoning air cargo business, is shifting roles to oversee the e-retailer’s workplace health and safety division.
John Felton, Amazon’s head of worldwide operations, announced the move in a note to staffers on Thursday, according to a copy of the memo viewed by CNBC. Rhoads will also be in charge of Amazon’s global operations learning and development unit, which deals with things like career advancement and skills improvement in the company’s front-line workforce.
“Safety is paramount in every aspect of aerospace and other industries look to aviation for best practices in safety,” Felton wrote in the memo. “Sarah’s background as a decorated military pilot and her success leading Amazon Global Air positions her as the ideal leader to assume this critical role.”
Raoul Sreenivasan, who joined Amazon in 2016 and currently oversees planning, performance and cargo for Amazon Global Air, will take over most of Rhoads’ Amazon Air responsibilities, Felton said. Prior to joining Amazon, Sreenivasan worked at DHL and TNT Express, a European courier acquired by FedEx.
Rhoads, a former U.S. Navy F-18 pilot, has been one of the top executives in Amazon’s sprawling logistics business. She joined the e-commerce giant in 2011.
Over the past several years, Amazon has steadily moved more of its fulfillment and logistics operations in house, building a transportation network that the company says rivals UPS in size.
As part of an effort to handle and deliver more of its own packages, Amazon launched an air cargo business. Rhoads joined Amazon Air in its early days and has overseen much of the unit’s growth, including the opening of a $1.5 billion air hub in Kentucky.
Amazon has contracted more passenger airlines to fly packages in addition to other operators like Atlas Air and ATSG. Sun Country, a leisure-focused carrier, began flying converted Boeing 737 freighters for Amazon in 2020, after travel collapsed in the Covid pandemic. In October, Amazon announced that it reached an agreement with Hawaiian Airlines to fly leased Airbus A330 converted freighters, which would be the largest aircraft in Amazon’s fleet and its first Airbus jets. The planes will help replace older jets in the company’s fleet, Amazon said.
Air cargo rates have plunged from record highs hit during late 2021, when port snarls and a dearth of international flights pinched capacity and drove up prices. The rebound in air travel has added capacity to…
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