Amazon’s VP of Delivery Experience Maria Renz is quitting the firm after more than 20 years and is heading over to digital lender Social Finance (SoFi), The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday (March 12), citing sources.
Renz started working for the eCommerce giant in 1999 when Amazon was just five years in the making. She was promoted numerous times, and from 2015 to 2017 she was the first female technical adviser to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, chairman and CEO. Her first job at the company was as the product manager in marketing. In the role of Bezos’ technical adviser, Renz attended meetings with the executives and contributed to decisions.
“It’s similar to a chief of staff position,” she told Vanderbilt University, where she earned her MBA in 1996. “I spend my days with Jeff and my goal is to make him an even better CEO.”
Renz helped to launch Amazon’s free shipping policy and introduced new multi-billion-dollar retail categories, such as beauty, shoes and groceries, according to her LinkedIn profile. She was also the CEO of Amazon subsidiary Quidsi, based in her native New Jersey, The Seattle Times reported. Renz also led other Amazon subsidiaries, including Woot, Abe Books, Endless.com and MyHabit.com.
At SoFi, based in Silicon Valley, Renz will lead the FinTech startup’s credit card, brokerage and bank account businesses, one of the sources told WSJ.
Renz’s exit is the latest in a slew of company departures. Steve Kessel, head of physical stores, left earlier this year. Jeff Blackburn, in charge of entertainment, business development and advertising businesses, went on sabbatical in early 2020.
In other Amazon news, the eCommerce giant said it has established a $25 million relief fund for contract workers facing financial distress due to the coronavirus. Independent contractors could apply for a grant that would constitute “up to two weeks of pay.” Amazon expects the grants to range from $400 to $5,000.