The founder of Amazon’s Alexa Smart Home division, Charlie Kindel, left the company on Friday, writing in an email to colleagues, “the pace of the past five years has finally gotten to me and I simply need to catch my breath.”
Kindel spent two decades at Microsoft before joining Amazon. He played an important leadership role with the company’s Alexa voice platform. He created the Alexa Smart Home unit in 2016, helping grow Amazon’s voice technology capabilities inside the home.
“The Alexa Smart Home team is an incredible team that I was blessed to have built from the ground up,” Kindel wrote. “I’ve had so much fun watching so many people grow in their careers and it’s going to suck not being able to be around them day-to-day as they continue to flourish.”
Kindel plans to “relax and goof off,” and spend time with family. “I hope to enjoy the awesome summer we’re about to have in Seattle with my family. Both of my adult kids will be living in the Seattle area starting this summer. Professionally, I don’t know what’s next.”
While he is leaving the company, he isn’t ruling out a return to Amazon, where he appreciated the company’s leadership principles and high standards. “I’m skeptical I’ll find another environment where the drive for ‘raising the bar’ is so consistent and strong,” he wrote. “I was originally just going to take a temporary leave, but I like the idea of having total freedom of thought to decide what’s next in my life,” he wrote. “By making a clean break from Amazon all options are still on the table.”