Robert Parker, the director of engineering of five years for Amazon, has been poached by Samsung’s smart home arm, SmartThings.
Reported by The Verge, Parker was hired away from his position at Amazon to serve as SVP of engineering for Samsung, where he will oversee future development of SmartThings software and hardware. Parker previously led popular Amazon smart home projects such as Alexa, and prior to this, he spent 18 years at Microsoft.
Parker told the news source his plans for SmartThings rely on connecting gadgets to the cloud and helping smart home products to work exactly as they need to be. “Having something that really works is critical,” says Parker. “That’s one of the things that working at Amazon, I carry to SmartThings.”
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This recent hire could be a move that helps SmartThings in the long run after some recent struggles in the smart home industry.
Recently, developers have revolted and withdrawn from SmartThings based on its functionality issues, as documented in this developer community forum on the company’s official website.
However, the hiring of Robert Parker is a shift in the right direction, as is the fact that SmartThings CEO, Alex Hawkinson, directly addressed these issues in a lengthy statement on the company’s website. An excerpt of his full statement is as follows:
I want to let you know that everyone at SmartThings is fully aware of the issues that have been affecting platform reliability. In the past few weeks, we’ve redoubled our efforts to make some fundamental improvements that will soon be felt by all of you in your everyday experience with SmartThings. Know that these improvements are only the beginning, that we are in this for the long term, and that we are absolutely committed to building the best, most open platform in the world … Thank you for your patience and continued contributions as we scale. We’ve made the improvements to your service and the basics of our platform our top priority. By doing this and working with you, we’ll make the world smarter, together.
Time will tell if these new decisions made by SmartThings make it a stronger player in the smart home industry and help it to bounce back from a reputation that has been under fire in recent months.
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