Alexa, how should one enjoy retirement?
News came Friday that Amazon VP Mike George — one of the driving forces behind Alexa, the voice assistant, and the Amazon Echo devices — is retiring.
He had also helmed the Amazon Appstore, which had been folded into the devices and services operations.
The executive had been with the firm for roughly 20 years. And, as GeekWire reported, George announced his departure with style befitting a true tech maven, with a “long post in binary code that translates to ‘Retired from Amazon after ~20 years. Loved every minute. Not checking out, just changing the game :-)’”
The site noted that he is being replaced by Tom Taylor, a senior vice president heretofore in charge of the Amazon payments and fulfillments segments.
In terms of career trajectory, George had joined the company in 1998 and had been with Amazon in roles as diverse as general manager of Seller Platform Integration to vice president of Global Payments Services, among other roles. More recently, he’d been in charge of Alexa and Amazon Echo for about a year and a half. And those devices have done well, to say the least. As noted by GeekWire, citing research from eMarketer, the company has almost three-quarters of market share in the U.S. along for voice-operated speakers in 2017.
In an interview with GeekWire last December, George stated that voice assistant Alexa had been ramping up capabilities, as “she’ll be smarter, able to answer more questions, probably a little more conversational … She’ll have many more capabilities, from us and from third parties. You’ll see Alexa manifest herself on more and more of other people’s hardware, doing more and more things.”