Jeff Blackburn, one of Amazon’s most senior and longest-serving executives, returns to the company after a brief hiatus to serve as senior vice president of a new global media and entertainment division.
This role makes Blackburn Amazon the most powerful person in Hollywood, with oversight from Prime Video and Amazon Studios, as well as Amazon’s music, podcast, and games companies.
“Jblack’s interest in returning to Amazon has given us a good opportunity to combine our entertainment businesses into one organization under a leader who knows them well,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, who will soon become CEO of Amazon. in a memo.
Amazon has aggressively stepped up its investments in media and entertainment, having spent $ 11 billion on TV shows, movies and music last year, a 41% increase from its investments in 2019.
Amazon Studios has allocated at least $ 465 million for the first season of “The Lord of the Rings” alone, an unprecedented budget for a streaming show.
The company has also increased its investment in Prime Video, which has more than 175 million members worldwide, and recently secured the exclusive rights to NFL Thursday Night Football starting next year.
Blackburn, who joined Amazon in 1998 and was instrumental in growing his media business, took a year off last year and left the company in February. He will return on June 7 and report to CEO Jeff Bezos until Bezos hands the reins to Jassy this summer.