Jamie Siminoff, CEO of the company Amazon The company announced Wednesday that subsidiary Ring will step down later this month.
Siminoff will assume the role of chief inventor on March 22, with Elizabeth Hamren succeeding him as CEO. Hamren most recently served as COO of chat app Discord and held leadership roles at MicrosoftXbox division and goalOculus virtual reality unit.
In addition to Ring, Hamren will also oversee Amazon Key, the company’s home delivery service; Amazon Sidewalk shared network service; as well as Blink, another home security camera maker that Amazon acquired in 2017.
“Inventing is my true passion. I’m always looking for ways we can accommodate our neighbors, who we’ve always called our customers,” Siminoff wrote on his blog. “That’s why I’ve decided to move my role to Chief Inventor and bring in a new CEO.”
The move comes five years after Amazon bought Ring for $1 billion in 2018. The deal helped Amazon increase its presence in the smart home and home security categories.
At the same time, press reports have drawn scrutiny to Ring’s security protocols and the technology’s threats to consumer privacy.
In 2020, Ring said it fired four employees for snooping on customer video feeds after The Intercept and The Information revealed that Ring employees in Ukraine had unfettered access to video from Ring cameras around the world.
The company has beefed up its security measures after a series of incidents in which hackers gained access to a number of users’ cameras. In one case, hackers managed to observe 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 for its controversial partnerships with thousands of police departments across the country. The program allows police and fire departments to request video footage recorded by Ring cameras.
Privacy advocates have expressed concern that the program and its companion app, Ring Neighbors, have increased the risk of racial profiling and turned residents into whistleblowers, while giving police access to the footage without a warrant and with few fences on how they can use the material.
In 2021, Ring began requiring police to make requests for video or information publicly available on the Neighbors app.
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