Amazon’s long-time CFO Thomas J. Szkutak will retire next summer, the company announced this morning. Szkutak, who previously served as the CFO at GE Lighting before joining Amazon in October 2002, will be working with successor Brian T. Olsavsky, Vice President of Finance for the company’s global consumer business, over the next 10 months to transition his responsibilities.
These include overseeing the controller, treasury, investor relations, tax, internal audit and facilities functions as well as financial management of the company’s business units.
Szkutak’s legacy will be that he has helped lead the company during a high-growth period of Amazon’s business, which grew from an online retailer to the so-called “Everything Store” over the years. Szkutak was with Amazon as it expanded into new categories, new geographies, and was there for the launch of Amazon’s AWS and Kindle businesses.
He should also receive some credit for being the CFO during a time when Amazon continues to operate with very thin profit margins – something its shareholders have seemed to tolerate, buying into Amazon’s long-term potential. And since Amazon likes to keep a lot of information about how large or profitable its many businesses are, the CFO’s statements during Amazon earnings are often carefully dissected.
Szkutak was also the principal advisor of A9.com, Amazon’s product search and advertising technology business.
Successor Olsavsky has been with the company even longer than Szkutak, joining in April 2002 as VP of Finance. He previously held financial and business management roles at Fisher Scientific International for 7 years before coming to Amazon.