Updated: Amazon.com executive killed in Lake Huron plane crash

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips, a general manager with Amazon Web Services and a former Microsoft executive, died Saturday night in a single-engine plane crash in Michigan.

The plane was supposed to have reached its destination on Mackinac Island at about 8 p.m., but was reported missing by a concerned family member of one of the men, according to WXYZ.

The cause of the crash was unknown.

Dispatchers were notified of the missing plane last night. The flight was just 4.5 miles long and was supposed to have taken about six minutes, according to a report by a Detroit TV station.

UPDATE: The Associated Press reported that the wreckage of the plane was found on a Lake Huron shoreline Sunday afternoon, and confirmed that both Phillips and Joe Pann of nearby St. Ignace were killed in the crash.

INRIX CEO Bryan Mistele, who worked with Phillips at Microsoft, said that he was saddened to hear the news. Both men served as general managers of Microsoft’s Automotive Group, and both hailed from Michigan.

“We had a lot in common and I know he loved living on Mackinac Island,” Mistele told GeekWire. ” More importantly, he was a good leader, a real innovator and an all around great guy. The Seattle tech community just lost a true friend.  My prayers are with his family at this time.”

FOLLOW-UP: Remembering Tom Phillips: Longtime Microsoft GM had rare acumen across business and tech

Phillips joined Amazon.com earlier this year, overseeing the company’s Windows Elastic Compute Cloud service.

Prior to joining Amazon, Phillips spent 18 years at Microsoft where he most recently served as general manager of Windows automotive and global services group. Before that, he was the general manager of emerging markets and Windows hardware.

The Air Force coordinated a land search for the men on Saturday night and Sunday, while the Coast Guard conducted a search over water.

We’ve reached out to Amazon.com for comment and we will update the post as we hear more.

Update, 6:30 p.m.: Given Phillips’ tenure at Microsoft, we also reached out to the Redmond company.

“We were saddened to learn of the accident involving our friend and former colleague Tom Phillips,” said Lou Gellos, a Microsoft spokesman. “In nearly two decades at Microsoft, he was a respected leader across many different businesses. Our thoughts are with his family, and his many friends both here and at Amazon.com.”

  • http://twitter.com/ArcComputer david prokop

    I was sorry to hear the news about Tom, I worked for him in emerging markets and hardware at MSFT, he was a good guy and a great manager. My condolences to his family. 

  • Guest

    Story needs updating, unfortunately. Bodies/wreck found.

  • Pw

    it was not on the shoreline. it was found by picture rock in mackinaw, about 2 miles from the air field and a half of a mile from the shore.i was about to go to the island that day but my uncle broke down crying because he knows both of the guy’s.