Amazon has shaken up Lab126, its secretive hardware division, following the disappointing sales of the Fire Phone last year.
But CEO Jeff Bezos has told employees that he’s not disappointed in the phone, and the reorganization is meant to help the company produce more hardware.
Austin Carr at Fast Company reports that some leaders from the hardware business, Malachy Moynihan (head of Fire TV and Echo) and devices VP Ian Freed, are out, and a bunch of new leaders are shuffling into place.
At least one employee feels like “Lab 126 is in the doghouse” because of the Fire Phone.
But other folks told Carr that the reorganization was long overdue and fixes a “bloated” management structure at the lab.
Amazon took a $US170 million charge for unsold Fire Phone inventory in October, but Bezos told the audience at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference that the company learned a lot from it and will keep pressing forward. Apparently, he’s telling employees the same thing.
Lab126 is based in Cupertino, Calif., where Apple is headquartered, rather than in Seattle with most of the rest of Amazon. It’s grown from a quiet little group of 100 employees to about 3,000, says Fast Company, and has released a bunch of new product categories, including Amazon’s first smartphone and a voice-controlled virtual assistant, Echo.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.