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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik