Jamie Siminoff, CEO of Amazon subsidiary Ring, is stepping down from the role later this month, the company notified Wednesday.
Siminoff will assume the role of chief inventor on March 22, and Elizabeth Hamren will succeed him as CEO. Hamren most recently served as COO of the chat app Discord, and has held leadership roles at Microsofts Xbox division and Meta’s Oculus virtual reality device.
In addition to Ring, Hamren will also oversee Amazon Key, the company’s home delivery service; shared network service Amazon Sidewalk; as well as Blink, another home security camera manufacturer that Amazon acquired in 2017.
“Invention is my true passion. I’m constantly looking at how we can adapt to deliver for our neighbors, which is what we’ve always called our customers,” Siminoff wrote in a blog post. “That’s why I decided to move my role to Chief Inventor and hire a new CEO.”
The move comes five years after Amazon acquired Ring for a reported $1 billion during 2018. The deal has helped Amazon grow its presence in the smart home and home security categories.
Meanwhile, press reports have drawn scrutiny over Ring’s security protocols and the technology’s threat to consumer privacy.
In 2020, Call said it fired four employees for looking into customer video feeds following reports from The intercept and The information found that Ring employees in Ukraine were given unlimited access to video from Ring cameras around the world.
The company strengthened its security measures after a series of incidents where hackers gained access to a number of users’ cameras. In one case hackers could watch and communicate with an 8-year-old girl. Ring blamed the problem on users reusing their passwords.
Ring has also drawn criticism from privacy and civil liberties advocates over a controversial partnership with thousands of police departments across the country. The program allows police and fire departments to request video footage recorded by Ring cameras.
Privacy advocate have expressed concern that the program, and Ring’s accompanying Neighbors app, have increased the risk of racial profiling and turned residents into informants, while giving police access to footage without warrants and with few safeguards around how they can use the footage.
Call year 2021 began requiring police to make requests for videos or information public on the Neighbors app.
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