Amazon's key payments product leader joins Microsoft

A recent shift in a LinkedIn profile description suggests that Iain Kennedy, the six-year veteran of Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) product management for the company's domestic commerce efforts, has left for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Kennedy's LinkedIn bio shows that he now oversees product management for Microsoft's commerce platform, reported Re/code. Re/code said Kennedy declined to elaborate on his new role in a private Twitter message because it was "too early to talk specifics."

Kennedy oversaw Amazon's product management team as it worked on a new set of products intended to renovate common payment methods. The products include a new digital wallet app for smartphones and a rumored digital money-transfer service. The company announced earlier this month that it would be retiring the unpopular WebPay service.

Amazon exec Charlie Kindel has been tweeting a job listing specifying that the group Kennedy was managing is working on a confidential set of products that will "delight billions of customers as they buy and sell things in the real world."

With such suggestive wording—"in the real world"—many have been speculating as to whether Amazon is gearing up to launch its own payment service to contend with Apple Pay, which was revealed alongside the announcements of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

But that leaves a few questions, doesn't it? Why would Kennedy leave as Amazon moves into such a potentially profitable venture? "Six years is a long time," Kennedy told Re/code in a Twitter message. "Wanted to solve a new set of problems, learn a new company culture, apply what I had learned." Story