Dave Limp, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Devices and Services, has announced his pending retirement from the company. Limp has been with the company for nearly 14 years and, as his title suggests, oversaw Amazon’s transition into dedicated hardware devices like Kindle e-readers, Alexa-enabled Echo speakers and the various Fire-branded products, among many others. Amazon makes a lot of stuff.
As for the reasoning behind the decision, Limp simply says that “it’s time,” noting that while he’s been at Amazon since 2010, he’s been doing the same basic job at various entities, like Apple and Palm, for 30 years. He’s not exactly retiring in the conventional “cocktail on the beach” sense, as Limp suggests in a blog post that he'll likely continue to work, just not in the consumer electronics space. As for Amazon, he’ll stay on for the next few months until naming a successor.
Of course, Amazon’s Devices and Services division experienced some serious layoffs last year and it’s been reported that the division operates at a staggering annual loss of around $5 billion, according to TechCrunch. It’s easy to blame either of these facts for Limp’s departure, but many Amazon departments experienced layoffs throughout the past year, not just hardware, and the rest of the industry followed suit. The hardware division operates at a loss, but there are certainly a lot of Amazon devices in people’s homes, with the company recently touting the sale of 500 million Alexa-enabled gadgets. Each of these cute lil Alexas are constantly asking people to buy things, so who knows how deeply these hardware sales funnel down into other revenue streams.
However, he’s not the first high-level executive to leave the company under CEO Andy Jassy, who took over from Jeff Bezos two years ago. Other departures have included Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark, media and entertainment leader Jeff Blackburn, longtime Amazon Web Services executive Charlie Bell, global customer fulfillment leader Alicia Boler Davis and global corporate affairs chief/former Obama staffer Jay Carney.