Kate Burleigh has been appointed as country manager of Amazon Alexa Skills across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), five months after vacating the top role at Intel.
In assuming the role, Burleigh will oversee the arrival of Amazon Alexa and Alexa-enabled devices across A/NZ in early 2018, designed to open up new opportunities for developers on both sides of the Tasman.
“I will be keenly focused along with my team in working with leading Australian companies and developers in bringing skills to life for Alexa which will delight Australian customers,” wrote Burleigh, via social media.
“I look forward to really getting some great things happening in this space for Australia and New Zealand.”
Specifically, the local launch will allow developers to build for Alexa and reach customers through voice-first experiences using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and the Alexa Voice Service (AVS).
Operating as an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon, Alexa answers questions, plays music and reads the news, and will launch locally alongside Echo smart speakers.
“The customer response to Alexa and Echo has been incredibly positive, and we’re excited to make them available for our Australian and New Zealand customers early next year,” Amazon Alexa vice president Toni Reid added.
“We also look forward to helping new and existing developers create innovative Alexa experiences for customers by expanding the Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa Voice Service to Australia and New Zealand.”
From a technology perspective, ASK is a collection of self-service APIs and tools capable of allowing developers to create new voice-driven capabilities, or skills, for Alexa.
“Developers don’t need experience with speech recognition or natural language understanding—Alexa does all the work to hear, understand, and process the customer’s spoken request so developers don’t have to,” Amazon chief evangelist of Alexa and Echo David Isbitski added.
Burleigh’s joins Amazon at a time of strong growth for all aspects of the organisation, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) continuing to expand, Amazon retail inching closer to a launch and now Alexa set to arrive in the coming months.
As reported by ARN, Burleigh announced her intention to resign from her role as Intel managing director across A/NZ in May, exiting the tech giant after 20 years.
Inducted into the ARN Hall of Fame in 2014, Burleigh, who was in the role for around five years, finished up in the business on 30 June.
Burleigh began her career at Intel in 1996, where she held several different roles, culminating in five years leading the A/NZ teams as managing director, helping the vendor step away from its PC-focused heritage.