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Amazon Hires Former Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney

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Republicans might be canceling their Amazon Prime account as former White House press secretary Jay Carney announced that he was joining the company as Senior Vice President for Worldwide Corporate Affairs.

The newly-created department will merge the company’s existing public policy and public relations teams, which are headed up by Craig Berman and Paul Misener, with both reporting to Carney. The former White House press secretary for the Obama Administration will split his concerted efforts between Amazon’s headquarters and Washington, D.C.

It's no secret that Amazon and other tech firms have been fighting with Washington over Federal Aviation Administration regulations regarding the use of drones. With a former Washington insider as a new hire Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos can take further steps to ensure that drones will be able to deliver Amazon packages sooner rather than later. However, the FAA recently proposed a new limit on commercial drone flight to no more than 500 feet above ground, and drone pilots must have the craft in sight at all times. That can't be an easy pill to swallow for a company that wants to launch a fleet of package-delivering autonomous drones.

Before working with the White House, Carney spent two decades as a scribe working for Time, Inc. He resigned as press secretary in May 2014 after more than three years on the job. After moving to Atlanta to work with CNN as a political analyst, Carney battled rumors of his unhappiness with the Ted Turner-created news organization. One of the bits of gossip flying around was that Carney was in the running to take over the PR operations at Apple, following the departure of Katie Cotton.

Amazon’s acquisition of Carney makes him the last Obama associate to sign on for employment inside the tech world. In 2014, the car-hailing service, Uber, recruited former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe to lead the company’s strategic efforts. Carney, meanwhile, will begin his new job Monday. He’s already given his notice to CNN and will give up his talking head position to “focus full-time on Amazon."

Carney, 49, will oversee the e-retailer’s public relations and lobbying efforts, and will report directly to CEO Jeff Bezos.

Photo: Aurelijus Valeiša | Flickr

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