After working at Amazon for two-and-a-half years, Scott Blanksteen is leaving to join VUDU, the video streaming service owned by Walmart.
Blanksteen’s departure is notable for two reasons: First, because he is joining a competitor to Amazon’s Instant Video service, and second, because the project he was working on at Amazon has yet to be announced.
While at Amazon, Blanksteen was a director of product management leading a team “responsible for product definition, design, and go-to-market for a new, unannounced consumer device — and related ecosystem of services — from Amazon,” according to his LinkedIn bio. Blanksteen confirmed the description was correct.
In recent months, Amazon has been on a tear, announcing several new hardware initiatives, including the Fire TV, the Amazon Fire Phone, and even smaller projects, such as the Dash, which is a small remote that allows consumers to place Amazon Fresh orders using voice recognition.
Now that some of Amazon’s projects are official, after having been rumored for months, it’s not clear what other devices are forthcoming from the Seattle-based e-commerce giant. Of course, it’s worth noting that Amazon, like many companies, is known for working on several ideas at once, so any unannounced consumer devices could be canceled at anytime. An Amazon spokesperson has not replied to an email seeking comment.
At VUDU, Blanksteen has been appointed to VP of product management, where he will be leading the product and design team across all platforms and services. “I’m excited to help take the consumer offerings and the business to the next level, given the great underlying technology and strong team,” he said.
Blanksteen, who was CEO of Seattle startup AppStoreHQ before joining Amazon, has moved to California to work from VUDU’s Sunnyvale headquarters.
VUDU, which was acquired by Walmart in March 2010 for a reported $100 million, offers full-length movies for rent or to own. Its service is available on Blue-ray, TVs and other platforms, such as Xbox, PlayStation, Google’s Chromecast and Roku. Besides Amazon’s Instant Video, other competitors include Hulu and Netflix.