Mike Isaac

Recent Posts by Mike Isaac

Meet the Team Behind Amazon’s Drone Squad

AmazondroneYou may think that Amazon’s drone delivery dream is a mere flight of fancy — vaporware for a good PR press blitz.

Perhaps that’s true! But, fruitful or not, the company still has an entire team (albeit a small one) working on the project. Let’s meet them, per a source who helpfully pointed a few out to me recently.

There’s Gur Kimchi, the guy in charge, whose title is VP of Profit Systems and Prime Air. He’s ex-Microsoft, where his background looks to be in mobile search, virtual earth-mapping and contextual and local business search tech. He’s been at Amazon for a little more than a year, and has headed up the Prime Air program since June, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He’s joined by Daniel Buchmueller, another ex-Microsoft engineer who worked closely with Kimchi at the Redmond, Wash., software giant, and has been at Amazon for nearly a year. Brian Beckman, Fabian Hensel and Severan Rault, too, come from backgrounds at Microsoft (making more than half the team former Microsoft employees).

The remaining three team members — Scott Green, Amir Navot and Rita Troup — hold various unspecified roles on the project, but are listed as team members on Kimchi’s LinkedIn page.

That looks like the extent of the team for now — at least, as far as I have been able to tell. Amazon won’t tell me, either way.

But not for much longer. According to Buchmueller’s LinkedIn page, the group is hiring.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus