Amazon Echo Exec Retires After Nearly 20 Years

Jul 14, 2017

The Amazon executive who helped oversee the development of the company's wildly popular Echo connected home device—and the Alexa smart software that drives it—left the company as of this month.

Michael George, who joined the retail and tech colossus in 1998, disclosed his departure on his LinkedIn profile. That post was picked up by tech news site GeekWire, which also translated George's "geeky" farewell note that he posted to LinkedIn in binary form (a series of zeroes and ones).

The numbers convert to: “Retired from Amazon after ~20 years. Loved every minute. Not checking out, just changing the game :-)”

Related: Amazon Alexa May Share Your Conversations

Given that Amazon (amzn) competitors—including neighbor Microsoft (msft) as well as Apple (aapl)and Google (googl)—are ramping up their own connected home devices, it will be interesting to see where George turns up next.

Right now, Amazon Echo leads the league, but Google Home is making headway, and Microsoft Invoke and Apple HomePod are due this fall. All of these devices and their paired software act as virtual personal assistants, enabling their owners to buy products, order food, and check the weather—all by using voice commands.

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An Amazon spokeswoman confirmed that Tom Taylor, senior vice president of Amazon Payments, will step into George's position.

Note: (July 14, 2017 11:50 a.m. ET) This story was updated to include Amazon's confirmation about Tom Taylor's new role.

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