Amazon CEO tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top Black executives, report says

amazon, amazon ceo tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top black executives, report says
© Provided by Business Insider Amazon CEO Andy Jassy. Reuters/ Mike Blake

  • Amazon lost two top Black executives amid a management shakeup Tuesday.
  • CEO Andy Jassy addressed their departures in a memo to staff, CNBC reports.
  • Amazon’s top-level executive team now has no Black executives on it.

Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy sent a memo to staff Tuesday night addressing the departure of two of its top Black executives, CNBC reports.

SVP of global customer fulfillment Alicia Boler-Davis and VP of Amazon Transportation Services David Bozeman left the company amid a wider management shakeup, according to an email obtained by Insider.

Boler-Davis was the only Black executive on Amazon’s top-level “S-Team,” which was established to advise former CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.

amazon, amazon ceo tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top black executives, report says
© Marcus Ingram/Getty Images Alicia Boler-Davis is one of two senior Black executives to depart Amazon this week. Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

“It’s not lost on any of us that we’re losing two of our most senior Black leaders,” Jassy wrote in the memo, as published by CNBC.

“I am (as I know the rest of s team is) committed to continuing to hire and develop Black senior leaders, as well as leaders in other under-represented segments,” he added.

“We have a lot of meaningful leadership roles at the company, and we’re working hard to become as diverse and inclusive as we desire,” Jassy said.

Amazon did not immediately comment on the authenticity of the memo when contacted by Insider. In a previous statement to Insider’s Gabrielle Bienasz, however, an Amazon spokesperson pointed to a copy of the same memo that was obtained by GeekWire.

Amazon CEO tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top Black executives, report says
1/8 SLIDES © Warner Bros.

The top upcoming movies that experts say could help revive the box office, from ‘Jurassic World’ to ‘Elvis’

Theatrical industry leaders and box-office experts are enthusiastic about the release slate this year. They cited a number of potential blockbusters and surprise hits that could help revive the box office. They include “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Elvis.”

Movie-theater leaders have reason to be optimistic about the state of their industry after two years of disruption.

During last week’s exhibition conference CinemaCon, Hollywood studios voiced their commitment to theatrical releases and highlighted their slates of upcoming movies.

A new survey of 2,200 US adults from the insights firm Morning Consult, published on Wednesday, also showed that comfort with going to theaters rose to 62%, a pandemic-era high.

Theaters aren’t out of the woods yet, though. The US box office is still well below pre-pandemic levels (but is up 338% compared to this time last year, when theatrical releases were largely nonexistent, according to Comscore).

And US adults still rank “day-and-date” releases — as in, movies coming to theaters and streaming services at the same time — as their preferred release model, according to another Morning Consult survey published on Friday (industry leaders would push back that moviegoers, as opposed to general audiences, would prefer exclusive theatrical releases).

During the pandemic, Hollywood studios experimented with day-and-date strategies. Warner Bros. released its entire 2021 slate in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. Other studios did the same with select blockbusters, like Disney’s “Black Widow.”

A studio exec, who wished to remain anonymous, noted that audiences were “trained” during the pandemic to know when a movie will be available to stream, which could impact box office.

But theatrical industry leaders are convinced that day-and-date is “dead as a serious business model,” according to John Fithian, the CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners.

“That doesn’t mean that there won’t be distributors that toy occasionally with that concept,” Fithian told Insider. “But from what we are hearing from the studios, they are focused on their slate of movies that are intended for theaters with an exclusive window.”

The coming months will be a strong indicator of whether the theatrical industry can overcome these obstacles and ride the year’s early momentum. The summer movie season is packed with wannabe blockbusters like Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion” and potential surprise hits like Warner Bros.’ “Elvis.”

“It’s challenging to say things will be back to so-called normal across the board, but this summer certainly looks the closest the industry’s been to it since 2019,” said Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst.

Below are the top movies that experts say could help revitalize the box office this year:

Read the original article on Business Insider

Amazon CEO tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top Black executives, report says
2/8 SLIDES © Marvel Studios

Marvel movies including the “Doctor Strange” sequel

Marvel has become the most reliable brand in theaters, and this year sees the release of three sequels: “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” this weekend, “Thor: Love and Thunder” in July, and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” in November.

“Doctor Strange” is already looking like a hit, earning $36 million in Thursday previews, almost on par with “Avengers: Infinity War,” which earned $39 million. Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst, said the target for the weekend is around $190 million.

Amazon CEO tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top Black executives, report says
3/8 SLIDES © Paramount Pictures

“Top Gun: Maverick” — May 27

A lot is riding on “Top Gun: Maverick,” which could bring out the over-50 crowd that has been the slowest demographic to return to theaters. If it overperforms, it could be a turning point in theaters’ comeback story.

The good news: the movie played in full to the audience at CinemaCon, and the crowd loved it. Early buzz is strong, which is vital for any movie competing for consumers’ dollars in the theatrical market right now.

“If I had to choose one movie, I’d say it’s that one that could really break through with a consumer base we want back,” said Rolando Rodriguez, the CEO of Marcus Theatres and chairman of the National Association of Theatre Owners.

Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst, is forecasting the movie to open in the US with anywhere from $95 million to $125 million over its first weekend.

Amazon CEO tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top Black executives, report says
4/8 SLIDES © Pixar

“Lightyear” — June 17 / “Minions: The Rise of Gru” — July 1

While children and families have been slow to return to theaters, there have been recent signs of life with “Sing 2,” which earned $162 million in the US, and “The Bad Guys,” which recently grossed a healthy $24 million in its opening weekend.

Disney’s “Lightyear” and Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” will be the strongest indicators yet of whether families are ready to return to cinemas in droves. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” which has grossed $163 million in the US so far, is another example, though a large portion of its audience was adult males.

“‘Lightyear’ and ‘Minions’ will benefit by the trail blazed by ‘Sing 2,’ ‘Sonic 2,’ and ‘The Bad Guys,'” said Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore media analyst. “Both films have enormously positive brand equity.”

Amazon CEO tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top Black executives, report says
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Amazon CEO tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top Black executives, report says
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“Jurassic World: Dominion” — June 10

Bruce Nash, who founded the box-office research website The Numbers, told Insider that his model predicts “Jurassic World: Dominion” to be the “most guaranteed blockbuster of the year.”

The Numbers’ prediction model takes into account a movie’s genre, filmmakers and stars, whether it’s part of a franchise, and social-media engagement.

“The ‘Jurassic World’ movies have posted huge opening weekends [in the US] and there’s no reason to suspect that’s not going to happen with ‘Dominion,'” Nash said. “And those are films that have a very broad four-quadrant appeal.”

The first two movies, “Jurassic World” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” both grossed over $1 billion worldwide.

A theatrical industry source, who wished to remain anonymous, said that “Dominion” could do the same, especially if it gets into China, where the first two movies earned $228 million and $261 million, respectively.

Jeff Sneider reported for The Ankler this week that the China Film Administration has approved the movie, but it does not have a release date yet. That last bit could be troubling — “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” for instance, was approved for release in China, but has yet to debut there.

Amazon CEO tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top Black executives, report says
6/8 SLIDES © Warner Bros.

“Elvis” — June 24

Bruce Nash, The Numbers founder, said that his prediction model projects “Elvis” to open with $12 million in the US. It seems low, but he said it’s a “perfectly respectable number” for the movie.

He compared it to the musical “The Greatest Showman,” which opened to an underwhelming $13 million, but had strong legs throughout its theatrical run. It ultimately made $174 million in the US and $436 million globally, off of an $84 million production budget.

Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore media analyst, called it the “perfect hybrid movie” that could sway both older and younger audiences to the theater.

“I think Elvis will be a big surprise,” said Mooky Greidinger, the CEO of the Cineworld theater chain. “I hear good buzz around it.”

Amazon CEO tells staff it is still committed to diversity after a management shakeup left it with no top Black executives, report says
7/8 SLIDES © 20th Century Fox

“Avatar: The Way of Water” — December 16

James Cameron’s 2009 hit “Avatar” is the highest-grossing movie of all time, with $2.8 billion worldwide. So expectations are high for its long-awaited sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

Theatrical industry leaders are enthusiastic about its potential, as Cameron is toying with a number of different versions of the movie, from Imax to 3D to high-frame rate.

“Avatar 2 will be, technologically, the movie that offers the most choices for consumers,” John Fithian, the CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, said.

He added: “They’re making more versions of this movie than have ever been made before. That shows off the great range of technological experiences and visual experiences that you can have in cinemas that you can never get at home. That’s part of our comeback story, too.”

Amazon reported as of December 2021 66.4% of people in “senior leader” positions are white, and 76% are men. By comparison its lowest-level “Field and customer employees” are 26.6% white, and 50.3% are women.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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