April 2, 2013
Amazon Hires Microsoft’s Charlie Kindel To Work On ‘Secret’ Project
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
A quiet announcement occurred on April Fool's day, but it was no April Fool's joke. According to reports yesterday, Amazon.com hired former GM for Microsoft's Windows Phone Charlie Kindel. While the potential joke was that Amazon's line of eReaders and tablets is the Kindle, it was nonetheless quickly clarified this was no April 1st tomfoolery.
On Monday, Kindel updated his LinkedIn profile. The update posted his new position at Amazon as "Director, Something Secret," Mashable reported. In the job description, Kindel stated he's working on "something wonderful" at Amazon.
A post to Kindel's personal blog offered a more in-depth description — as well as a little April Fool's prank. He titled the post "Announcing the Amazon Kindle Charlie," playing on his last name. He added the disclaimer "Part of the following is true.”
GeekWire reports: "I'm building a new team going after a totally new area for Amazon. I'm hiring cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers, and product managers," the site noted from Kindel's post to his profile.
Amazon has a line of Kindle eReaders and Android-based tablets. Rumors have surfaced over the past year Amazon is currently working on developing its own smartphone which would likely be introduced as part of the Kindle family. Other rumors claim Amazon will release said smartphone sometime next year, Slashgear mentioned.
As mentioned in his LinkedIn profile, Kindel´s hire list suggests the secret project is related to a mobile product but also mentions cloud computing. It is undetermined whether this could be a smartphone with cloud capabilities or a cloud-based service for smartphone users.
Kindel left his post as Microsoft Windows Phone general manager in 2011 after 21 years working for the Redmond software giant. In the meantime, he has served as CEO of his own startup, BizLogr. The company makes an automated mileage reporting tool called MileLogr. Since taking his position at Amazon, Kindel will step down as CEO but remain involved with the company and retain the title of founder/owner. His co-founder Stefan Negritoiu will take on the lead role in the company.
It was with some regret he left his own startup brainchild. "I was really enjoying working with startups, and really didn't expect to be working at one of the giants again," Kindel wrote on his blog.
"Amazon presented an opportunity to build something new that has ginormous potential. I simply couldn't pass the opportunity up. As a double bonus, the idea that I can work in such a principled and customer focused company is really exciting to me," said Kindel according to GeekWire.
Amazon's hiring of Charlie Kindel comes just ahead of much-anticipated big news from Facebook. The social network is also expected to announce a smartphone at a press event on Thursday. If Facebook announces a new phone, it might still be a few months before it's released.