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Key Amazon exec leaving company 

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Gearing up for the MLS Cup | Seattle City Council race turns against Amazon
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Big Amazon departure: Steve Kessel, the Amazon executive who oversaw Amazon’s landmark expansion into bricks-and-mortar retail, plans to leave the company early next year. The 20-year Amazon veteran (above) also led the launch of the original Kindle e-reader earlier in his career. He informed his team of the news Friday in an internal email, obtained by GeekWire. 

Meanwhile, Amazon's top adversary on the Seattle City Council pulled ahead late Friday in the latest ballot count, deflating the tech giant's $1.45 million effort to elect new leadership in its hometown. The company's involvement in Seattle's election appears to have backfired, as just two of the seven candidates who benefited from Amazon's record spending prevailed.

🎙️ It’s the latest in a series of political missteps for the company, from HQ2 to JEDI, which is one of our topics on the new episode of the GeekWire Podcast.

Also on the podcast this week: Bill Gates and Elizabeth Warren are ready to talk about taxes; a Microsoft study shows the potential benefits of a shorter work week for productivity; and Cortana is ready to “play” your email for youListen to the show here, or subscribe in your favorite podcast app.

It’s MLS Cup weekend in Seattle, as our hometown Sounders prepare to compete for another trophy on Sunday, and we’re gearing up by comparing Seattle to rival Toronto as a tech hub and naming the winner of our #GeekiestSoundersFan contest. Go Sounders! 

Thanks for reading! See all of our latest headlines below. If you value GeekWire's reporting, please share this newsletter and encourage others to join you as a subscriber.GeekWire editor Todd Bishop, todd@geekwire.com.
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