Payment products manager leaves Amazon for Microsoft post


After six years of managing Amazon's local commerce teams, Iain Kennedy decided to leave the company and fill in a new role at Microsoft. Prior to being the head of product management, Kennedy used to manage Global Payments Marketing, Consumer Payments Product Management, and User Experience Design teams at Amazon Global Payments.

Kennedy will be filling in a product management post for Microsoft's commerce platform. This was revealed in his LinkedIn profile. Kennedy sent out a private Twitter message saying that it was still very early to elaborate the details of his new role.

Kennedy's previous work seemed to have revolved around the development of a digital wallet app for smartphones and the creation of a sort of mobile payment solution. This was hinted at when Amazon exec Charlie Kindel tweeted a job listing which said that the team was working on a "set of related, undisclosed products which will delight billions of customers as they buy and sell things in the real world (as opposed to online)."

The digital wallet app, otherwise known as the Amazon Wallet App, could serve as the company's launch pad for mobile payments. With its contents managed from, the app comes pre-installed in Amazon's Fire Phone. So far, Amazon has already launched several moves to tap mobile and online commerce. These would include the virtual currency "Amazon Coins" used to purchase digital content for devices in Amazon; "Twitter shopping feature," which allows a consumer to purchase from Amazon by replying to tweets; and "Login and Pay with Amazon," which enables the consumer to use his credentials in at other online commerce sites.

The job change was noticed by Re/code in Kennedy's LinkedIn profile. According to Re/code, Kennedy is now "driving the future of commerce at Microsoft" where he is tasked to lead the Commerce Platform Strategy team as its product management director.

Kennedy was the second Amazon payments director to leave the company within a period of three months. In July, Doug Hebenthal, engineering director for Amazon's e-commerce payments platform, left the company to become senior vice president at Emdeon. The company is a leading provider of revenue and payment cycle management and clinical information exchange solutions and connects providers, payers and patients in the healthcare system of the U.S. Before working at Amazon, Hebenthal used to work at Microsoft.

Microsoft has always been open to the idea of mobile payment systems. Kennedy's move to work with Microsoft strengthens the notion that the company is pondering on enhancing its own Microsoft Wallet on the Windows Phone, which could someday be a contender to the likes of Google Wallet, Apple Pay and Softcard.

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