Millions of devices sold: “Alexa” boss Dave Limp leaves Amazon

Millions of devices sold
Alexa boss Dave Limp is leaving Amazon

The Amazon group loses a prominent employee. Dave Limp is looking for a new challenge after 30 years in consumer electronics. Among other things, Limp is responsible for what is probably the best-known Amazon device: the Echo speakers with Alexa on board.

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. The equipment division has been affected by job cuts in recent months, affecting around 27,000 jobs across the group.

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 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 abilities have recently been eclipsed by artificial intelligence chatbots like ChatGPT, which gave the impression of being 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.

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. 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, the deal is still being examined by competition watchdogs.

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