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Another of Jeff Bezos’ top lieutenants is leaving Amazon.

Jeff Blackburn, senior vice president of business development and a key member of Bezos’ inner circle, said on Tuesday he was leaving the company. The news comes three weeks after Bezos announced he would step down as CEO and become executive chairman, leaving Andy Jassy, ​​chief executive of Amazon Web Services, as the head of the e-commerce giant.

“I want to thank you all for your friendship, teamwork and support,” wrote Blackburn, who was on a one-year sabbatical, in a note to employees. “What an incredible 22 years this has been together – I will cherish it, forever.”

Hinting at future plans, Blackburn added: “I am not retiring and will have news of what awaits me soon.”

Bezos said Blackburn kept him “up to date with his next chapter, and I can assure you it’s very exciting!”

Blackburn joined Amazon in 1998 after helping the company go public a year earlier. He became a member of the S team of Bezos, the inner circle of management, in 2006.

Blackburn is the second senior executive to leave Amazon this year; Jeff Wilke, head of Amazon’s consumer business, retired in January.

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