NEW YORK (AP) – Jay Carney, the top policy and communications executive at Amazon and one-time White House spokesman, has been named the head of policy at Airbnb, marking another high-profile departure for Amazon as it faces a shifting consumer landscape and heightened regulatory scrutiny.
Carney, who served as the press secretary for former president Barack Obama, will join Airbnb’s executive team and work with co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Chesky, the San Francisco-based home-sharing company said in a Friday blog post.
“Jay has worked at the highest levels of both government and technology, serving as a strategic counselor to the president, and at one of the largest tech companies in the world,” Chesky said in the post.
Carney will join Airbnb in September in Washington, DC.
In an email sent on Friday to the company’s senior leadership team, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy thanked Carney for “his many significant accomplishments”, including helping the company “build a strong set of capabilities in public policy and PR”.
Seattle-based Amazon has seen string of departures since Jassy, who previously ran the company’s cloud-computing unit AWS, succeeded founder Jeff Bezos as CEO last summer.
At least half of Jassy’s tenure has been marked by headaches over the glut of warehouses the company acquired during the pandemic. He’s pledged to bring profitability back to the company and is reported to have a more hands-on approach to the role.
Carney started with Amazon seven years ago and ran the company’s global corporate affairs organisation, reporting directly to the CEO.
He was White House press secretary from 2011 to 2014 after serving as director of communications for then vice president Joe Biden.
At Amazon, he oversaw policy and public relations, focusing on the company’s relationship with lawmakers and the White House.
In the role, he took a more combative posture, sometimes taking on members of the media and lawmakers critical of the company.
His departure comes amid increasing scrutiny on Amazon from Washington. Antitrust regulators at the Federal Trade Commission have been investigating Amazon’s business practices.