Jeff Blackburn, one of Amazon‘s highest-ranking and longest-serving executives, is returning to the company after a brief hiatus to be senior vice president of a new Global Media & Entertainment division.
“Jblack’s interest in returning to Amazon presented us with a good opportunity to combine our entertainment businesses in a single org under a leader who knows them well,” Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, who is soon to be Amazon‘s CEO, said in a memo.
Amazon has been aggressively ramping up its investments in media and entertainment, having spent $11 billion on TV series, movies and music last year, a 41 percent increase on its investments in 2019.
Amazon Studios has allocated at least $465 million for the first season of “Lord of the Rings” alone, an unprecedented budget for a streaming show.
The company has also upped its investments in Prime Video, which has more than 175 million members globally and recently won the exclusive rights for NFL Thursday Night Football starting next year.
Blackburn, who joined Amazon in 1998 and was instrumental in growing its media business, took a yearlong sabbatical last year and left the company in February. He will return June 7 and will report to CEO Jeff Bezos until Bezos hands the reins to Jassy in the summer.