Amazon’s device boss Dave Limp, who is responsible, among other things, for the voice assistant Alexa, a program for Internet satellites and a robotaxi company, will leave the group at the end of the year. A successor should be announced in the coming weeks, Amazon boss Andy Jassy wrote in a message to employees published on Monday. The equipment division has been affected by job cuts in recent months, affecting around 27,000 jobs across the group.
Earn money with services, less with devices
Limp wrote that after more than 30 years in consumer electronics, he wanted to see the future through a different lens. He has been in charge of Amazon’s device division since 2010. The area initially grew with the Kindle readers for e-books. Tablets, streaming boxes and probably the best-known Amazon devices followed under Limp: the Echo speakers with Alexa on board. The group followed the principle of selling technology at the production price if possible, in the hope of earning more money with services.
The various models of Echo speakers have sold tens of millions of units. Alexa’s capabilities have recently been eclipsed by artificial intelligence chatbots like ChatGPT, which appear to be able to formulate sentences more easily. Limp emphasized that Amazon also uses AI technology – and that Alexa must provide reliable answers. ChatGPT and similar competitor software are notorious for giving out completely false information.
Teurer Flop: Fire Phone
The division’s flops included an Amazon smartphone that was quickly discontinued. Some presented experimental devices such as a fitness ring never came to market.
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On the Fire phone’s home screen is the “carousel” for scrolling through apps.
Recently, Limp drove several expensive projects. This includes the plan for a global network of Internet delivery satellites called Kuiper. The project could rival tech billionaire Elon Musk’s Starlink system from space company SpaceX. However, the more than 3,000 Kuiper satellites still have to be built and launched.
Amazon also bought Zoox, a company specializing in self-driving cars, and is preparing to launch robotaxi services in Las Vegas, among other places. Limp also had robots developed for the household. He also started to buy the robot vacuum specialist iRobot (with the Roomba brand), the deal is still being examined by competition watchdogs.
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