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Jeff Bezos’s first — and only — female adviser has moved on to a new role at Amazon

Maria Renz is now Amazon’s VP of delivery experience.

MYHABIT.com Launch
Maria Renz, center, flanked by Brooklyn Decker and Vanessa Hudgens at the 2011 launch of Amazon’s MyHabit shopping site.
Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Maria Renz, a longtime Amazon executive who was CEO Jeff Bezos’s top adviser for nearly two years, has moved on to a new role, according to her LinkedIn bio. As of this month, Renz is now Amazon’s vice president for “delivery experience.”

From April 2015 until January, Renz served as technical adviser to the CEO — a role known more colloquially inside Amazon as Jeff Bezos’s “shadow.” It’s one of the most sought-after positions at the company; shadows typically work side by side with Bezos for one to two years, sitting in on all meetings and traveling with the CEO as well.

Renz’s appointment in 2015 was a big deal because she was the first woman to serve in the role as Bezos’s right hand. It’s also noteworthy because Amazon’s top executive team features just one woman — Principal Accounting Officer Shelley Reynolds — at a time when pressure is mounting on technology companies to increase the diversity of their management teams and employee base on several fronts.

Amazon has also been trying to shed the narrative that it is a brutal place to work as a woman and mother, following an explosive 2015 New York Times feature on its work culture. Renz later penned a response to the Times piece in an op-ed for Recode.

Amazon spokespeople did not respond to several requests for comment on whether a new shadow had been named and who it was.

It’s also not clear what exactly Renz’s new role as chief of “delivery experience” entails. One guess is that she’s overseeing Amazon’s myriad efforts to handle more customer deliveries with its own workers, rather than relying on UPS and the Postal Service for all of those needs.

Either way, it’s probably safe to assume it’s an important position. Shadows typically graduate to run young, but crucial, initiatives at the company. Former Bezos shadows include Andy Jassy, now CEO of Amazon AWS; Amit Agarwal, the head of Amazon India; and Dilip Kumar, who oversees technology for the Amazon Go and Amazon Books retail store initiatives.

If you have more information about these changes, contact me at jason@recode.net or at 917 655 4267 on messaging services including Signal, Confide and WhatsApp.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.