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Former WinPhone exec tapped for skunkworks Amazon gig

Ex-Microsoftie to oversee retailer's secret phone?

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Charlie Kindel, a former Microsoft exec who once managed developer outreach for Windows Phone, among other things, has reportedly joined Amazon to oversee a secret project in "a totally new area" for the online retailer.

Kindel tipped his hand regarding the new position on Monday when he updated his LinkedIn page to reflect the change.

Since then, he has responded to media attention regarding the move with a satirical blog post in keeping with the spirit of April Fools' Day, only part of which he says is actually true.

"I was really enjoying working with startups, and really didn't expect to be working at one of the giants again, but Amazon presented me with an opportunity to build a bold and audacious new business that I simply couldn't pass up," Kindel wrote in one of the post's more plausible passages.

Kindel left Microsoft in August 2011 after 21 years at the software giant. He went on to found BizLogr, a startup that produced mileage-logging app MileLogr, where he served as CEO. Kindel says that with his move to Amazon he will be succeeded in the top exec spot at BizLogr by cofounder and current CTO Stefan Negritoiu.

As for what Kindel will be doing at Amazon, however, that's anybody's guess. To hear him tell it, he'll be working on an eponymous home server product, "the Amazon Kindle Charlie™," but that hardly sounds likely.

Given his experience as an exec with the Windows Phone platform, however, it's reasonable to suspect that his new project might have something to do with mobility, especially given the rumors that an Amazon-branded phone might be set to launch in the coming months.

This isn't the first time Amazon has snapped up a former Windows Phone bigwig. Former biz-dev boss Robert Williams and developer program leader Brandon Watson were both recruited last year for a secretive project that has yet to be revealed.

Whatever Kindel will be put in charge of, he says he will be building an entirely new team at Amazon to do it. He'll be hiring "cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers, and product managers," he says, adding that interested parties should email him for information.

Should any enterprising Reg readers manage to land a job in Kindel's department and feel like spilling the beans, we'll be all ears. In the meantime, speculate away in the Comments. ®

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