REUTERS/Jeffrey DastinSummary List Placement
Daniel Rausch, Amazon's smart home boss for the last four years, has found a new role within the company as the lead for Fire TV, Appstore, and the Luna game streaming service, Insider has learned.
Rausch is replacing Marc Whitten, who was Amazon's VP of entertainment devices and services for nearly five years, overseeing the business, product, and engineering of Fire TV and Luna, among others. Whitten, previously the chief product officer of Sonos, left Amazon this month to join game development company Unity Technologies.
It's unclear who is replacing Rausch. Amazon's spokesperson confirmed the change in an email to Insider.
The move is the latest in a series of executive changes at Amazon that have resulted in at least 12 vacant spots among the company's most senior leadership positions.
In the past year, CEO Jeff Bezos announced his resignation, while retail boss Jeff Wilke retired. Amazon is still looking for a new CEO and CFO for the Amazon Web Services cloud division and a replacement for Dave Clark, who was promoted from SVP of worldwide operations to CEO of worldwide consumer.
Rausch is a familiar face for those who have followed Amazon's smart home and personal devices business in recent years. He often spoke in public and revealed new products at Amazon's annual hardware events as the face of its smart home strategy.
It's particularly interesting that Rausch is taking the helm at Luna, Amazon's on-demand game streaming service. Luna continues to expand its footprint, having become available to all Fire TV users on Wednesday, and Amazon's incoming CEO Andy Jassy appears to be a strong supporter of the company's overall gaming efforts.
In an interview with Insider late last year, Rausch said Alexa devices were seeing a spike in usage during the pandemic, including fitness and wellness apps streaming on Fire TV devices. Peloton in particular has surged, with 300% growth in engagement since the onset of the pandemic, while customers doing guided meditation on Headspace spiked 80% between February and July, according to Amazon.
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