Gurr to replace North at helm of Amazon

Gurr to replace North at helm of Amazon

Amazon’s China country manager Doug Gurr will move to the UK to replace Christopher North at the helm of the e-commerce giant this May.

Gurr has been country manager for Amazon’s business in China for the past two years. Last month it was revealed that current managing director Christopher North was to leave the business to take up a post as president and chief executive officer of personalised gift company Shutterfly from 31st May.

Gurr first joined Amazon in the UK in 2011 as vice president of its Hardlines division, which covers lawn, garden and toy products.  He will take up his new role in late May, coinciding with the departure of North, while continuing to support the transition of his current responsibilities to his successor in China, Amazon said.

Gurr said: "I’m delighted to be returning to Amazon in the UK to lead our continued investment in Britain and innovation on behalf of customers, small businesses, authors and other content creators.”

Xavier Garambois, vice president of EU retail at Amazon, added that Gurr’s knowledge of Amazon made him “ideally placed” to provide both continuity and progression for the UK business “as its continue to focus on providing our customers with ever better selection, value and convenience.”

Before joining Amazon, Doug was a senior executive at Asda, and prior to that was c.e.o of Blueheath Holdings, a company he founded and saw through to its listing on London’s AIM market. He was previously a partner at McKinsey & Co and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the university of Cambridge, along with a PhD in theoretical computing from the University of Edinburgh.

Amazon added that Gurr returned to the UK at a time of “rapid expansion” for the company as it aims to recruit a further 2,500 permanent jobs bringing its new total to 14,500 by the end of 2016, including expanding its head office base in London.

In the last 12 months, it has introduced new services for customers including Prime Now, Prime Same-Day and Amazon Pantry. “And there’s more to come,” the company added.

North has worked at Amazon since 2006, serving as the UK managing director since 2011. Shutterfly noted that Amazon’s UK revenue had grown to more than $9bn in 2015. Shutterfly recorded sales of $1bn in 2015.