SAN JOSE, Calif. – Out of curiosity, I clicked on Lab126 while poking around for a story and got more than I expected. It appears this secretive R&D group behind the Amazon Kindle is going through a major hiring phase, and reading through its nearly 250 job reqs proved interesting and entertaining.
The Kindle team is apparently on fire (excuse the bad pun). It aims to hire everything short of a CEO and dishwasher. The broad and diverse set of openings made me wonder whether Amazon might be spinning Lab126 out as a stand-alone company.
There are well over a dozen management openings requiring ten years experience or more, including a U.S. Kindle operations manager who will “manage/track day-to-day movement of Kindle products throughout the supply chain.” I would have thought that one was covered already.
The group has all sports of postings for hardware engineers in everything from antennas and audio to QA, RF and test. They include a camera test engineer for the group’s Shenzhen, China, branch.
Software engineering openings are equally diverse, including specialists in UI, systems, kernel and payment systems. Almost all the positions will be based in Cupertino, except a few in Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and a handful in a software center in Hyderabad, India.
Amazon’s “Vendor Payments Systems team [was] set-up in Hyderabad in 2007 and [today is entirely] owned and executed from Hyderabad,” the posting said. It’s a significant group, responsible for “billions of transactions that…give us a unique opportunity to innovate on both technology and business fronts and helps to improve free cash flows of [the] company."
Lab126 is hungry for all sorts of product and project managers based on the postings. It also has plenty of openings for various supply chain jobs, some requiring international travel and Mandarin capabilities.
Filling out the rest of the usual corporate functions, Amazon is seeking a handful of corporate attorneys, IT staff, technical writers to work on documentation for the Kindle SDK, business and financial analysts, industrial designers, a statistician and even a reliability scientist. They are even hiring several recruiters.
Maybe these guys really are forming their own company!
Interestingly, a couple positions were listed as accessories engineers for “in-box and out-box accessories,” especially for candidates with experience in “IP creation.” I noted a search of Amazon.com for Kindle accessories didn’t turn up much besides a few plugs and cables, despite the fact this is often a high profit margin area.
I got a chuckle out of at least three want ads for executive administrators that asked for the “ability to work in a highly ambiguous environment.” That's likely the corporate euphemism for chaos.
I wandered by the obscure little Lab126 office in Cupertino recently, which is what prompted me to check out its Web site for the first time. The operation was always well placed for hiring a few good mobile engineers. It’s just a couple blocks from Apple’s headquarters.
I’ve formally requested an interview to find out more, but given the group’s secretive history I’m not holding my breath. You shouldn’t hold back, either. Share below any stories you have about the team behind the Kindle.
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