amazon: Amazon is poised to hire departing Microsoft product chief Inc. is hiring Microsoft Corp.’s product chief to run the division responsible for Alexa and the Echo smart speakers, according to people familiar with the situation.

Panos Panay, who led Microsoft’s Windows team and was central to the company’s hardware push with its Surface computers, said he was leaving Microsoft earlier Monday.

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Dave Limp, the longtime Amazon hardware chief, said last month that he would retire from the company before the end of the year.

Amazon is holding its annual new devices event on Wednesday at its growing campus in Arlington, Virginia. The unit, which also makes Fire-branded television streaming sticks, tablets and the Kindle e-reader, was hit by layoffs last year as the company adjusted to slower growth and wound down some projects.

Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment. Microsoft declined to comment.

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