“It’s never easy to find a good time for a break when always scaling so fast, but now feels like the right time for me and my family,” Blackburn wrote in the email, which was first published by Geekwire.
Blackburn joined Amazon in 1998, and worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from the company’s third-party marketplace to business development and advertising. Over the last 7 years, he focused on Amazon’s growing media business, including Prime Video, Amazon Studios and Amazon Music.
“Jeff Blackburn has decided to take a one year sabbatical with his wife and extended family following more than 21 years at Amazon,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to media. “Jeff’s sabbatical will begin in early 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back in 2021.”
Blackburn is said to be one of Jeff Bezos’ closest advisors, and also has a significant stake in the company: CNBC reported Wednesday that Blackburn owns 71,000 Amazon shares, which are worth about $132 million.