Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
David VanderWaal, vice president of marketing for LG Electronics USA, left, and Michael George, vice president of Alexa, Echo, and Appstore at Amazon.com Inc., speak about the Amazon Alexa partnership with the LG InstaView Door-In-Door smart refrigerator during the company’s press conference at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last January.
Amazon’s Alexa voice technology is being used in a bunch of new hardware devices, including an upgraded Echo, a box for making phone calls and even in some upcoming BMW cars.
To develop all of that technology, Amazon has quietly assembled a team of over 5,000 people working on Echo and the Alexa ecosystem, Amazon’s hardware chief Dave Limp said during an event on Wednesday.
That’s more people working on Alexa products than consumer device makers Fitbit and GoPro have combined. Fitbit has a little over 1,700 employees, while GoPro has about 1,500.
It’s also a huge increase from last year for Alexa. In May 2016, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview with Recode that there were “more than 1,000” people working on Alexa and Echo.
Amazon has over 382,000 employees, so Alexa and Echo represent a tiny portion of the entire company. But rapid hiring growth reflects Amazon’s willingness to invest heavily in expanding the Alexa voice platform.
That number is likely to keeping increasing. According to Amazon’s jobs site, there are almost 1,500 openings for jobs related to Alexa and Echo.