SEATTLE -- Amazon.com Inc. is consolidating its physical retail and fast-delivery operations—including its convenience-store unit—under one veteran executive as it integrates its Whole Foods Market with related businesses, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
The shift gives Steve Kessel, a veteran lieutenant of CEO Jeff Bezos, oversight of Whole Foods Market, Prime Now, AmazonFresh, Amazon Go and Amazon Books. The goal is to ease changes across those platforms as Amazon disrupts retailing and tries to reinvent the way consumers shop in stores, one of the people told the newspaper.
“There will be a lot of work together between Prime Now, AmazonFresh, Whole Foods, Whole Foods products on the Amazon site, Amazon Lockers at the Whole Foods stores. So there will be a lot of integration, a lot of touchpoints and a lot of working together as we go forward,” Brian Olsavsky, senior vice president and CFO of Amazon, said on the company’s Oct. 26 earnings call. “Over time, you'll see more cooperation and working together between AmazonFresh, Prime Now and Whole Foods as we can explore different ways to serve the customer.”
Kessel has overseen Amazon’s digital strategy, including books and music; he led the team that developed the Kindle e-reader and Fire tablet. He also headed up an effort to reimagine the in-store experience. The company put him in charge of Whole Foods—reporting to Jeff Wilke, CEO of worldwide consumer for Amazon—at the time of the $13.5 billion acquisition in August, and added Prime Now and AmazonFresh in recent weeks, the people said.
Here are some details on the businesses Kessel will lead …