Enlarge / Amazon’s Astro, one of the hardware projects overseen by departing SVP David Limp. (credit: Amazon)

Amazon senior vice president of devices and services David Limp will be leaving the company “before the end of the year,” according to an Amazon spokesperson speaking to The Wall Street Journal. Limp has been with the company since 2010 and has overseen the development of major Amazon projects like the Echo smart speakers, the Alexa voice assistant, the Fire tablets and Fire TV devices, and the Amazon Appstore.

Amazon’s first Kindle e-readers pre-date Limp’s tenure, but the company’s products since then have all followed the same basic formula: to drive more sales on Amazon. Hardware like the Fire tablets, Fire TV sticks, and Echo smart speakers are essentially sold at cost, with the hopes that they’ll generate revenue once they’re in users’ homes.

The problem with that strategy is that even phenomenally successful products can fail if people use them in ways that don’t make money for Amazon. That’s the story of the Echo smart speaker and Alexa voice assistant, which as of late 2022 had reportedly lost Amazon some $10 billion because people mainly use Alexa to play music and check the weather and not to spend money.

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