There will be a change in leadership at Amazon’s video doorbell subsidiary Ring following the departure of its CEO, who will be replaced by an executive with previous experience at Microsoft and Meta.
Earlier this week, Jamie Siminoff announced that he would become the chief inventor on March 22, and that Elizabeth Hamren, Chief Operating Officer at Discord, would replace him as CEO on that date. In the past, she served as an executive for Microsoft’s Xbox division and Meta’s virtual-reality unit, Oculus. Additionally, Hamren will oversee Amazon Key, a program that allows delivery personnel access to customers’ residences, as well as Blink, another camera and doorbell startup that Amazon acquired.
The ABC reality show “Shark Tank” featured Simonoff’s attempt to pitch what was then known as DoorBot, which was unsuccessful in its initial pitch in 2011. However, other investors were intrigued by internet-connected doorbells that record and broadcast video and audio to smartphones when a person approaches them.
Despite internal concerns about the startup’s security and compliance practices, Amazon acquired the company in 2018 for $839 million, scooping up what then-CEO Jeff Bezos called a “very valuable” position in a growing segment of high-tech electronics.
A video-connected doorbell and camera from Ring quickly became a cornerstone of Amazon’s growing line of home electronics, which include Echo smart speakers and Alexa digital assistants. Recently, the company has expanded its offerings into home and business security systems, smart lighting, a dashboard-mounted camera, and a drone designed to provide security at home.
Occasionally, Amazon’s Ring camera has caused public relations issues as people have reported strangers controlling their cameras in a series of viral episodes. Separately, the company announced that some employees were terminated for improperly accessing customer data and that the security practices of the company had been overhauled, including encrypting its video devices. Several civil liberties groups have stated that the Ring program offers police the ability to request video footage from users. However, Ring has defended the use of the program, stating that users are free to choose whether they wish to share their videos with law enforcement.
It was Siminoff’s goal throughout all this to make customers feel safe, regardless of what happened.
Alexis Boutilier is from Vancouver, British Columbia. She has a high interest in all things tech and loves to stay engaged on all the latest appliances and accessories.