After Amazon Exec Departs, New Tech Buy, Deeper Discounts Announced

Shares of Amazon AMZN sunk 1% on Wednesday morning after one of the e-commerce power's longest-serving executives left the company to a take a roll at Airbnb. However, Amazon shares have since rebounded after reports surfaced that it invested in another home electronics startup and will offer steep discounts on its Prime membership to select customers.

Top Exec Out

The former VP of Amazon Prime, Greg Greeley, who helped create the business and was also involved in integrating Whole Foods, announced recently that he was set to move on to pursue a new challenge. Vacation rental super startup Airbnb just introduced Greeley as the new president of its "Home" business.

Greely joined Amazon just a few years after the company went public and has been an integral part of one of its biggest consume-facing business operations.

Smart Thermostat

Amazon, through its Amazon Alexa Fund, was reportedly part of the $62 million series C round of funding for smart thermostat brand Ecobee, according to a CNBC report . The startup already comes with built-in Amazon Alexa voices services.

Ecobee's software also allows its devices to work with systems from Apple AAPL , IFTTT, Google GOOG and Samsung. The products, which vary in price, can cost up to $250 and are currently sold on Amazon and in stores at Best Buy BBY , Home Depot HD , Lowe's LOW , and Apple.

The news comes roughly a week after Amazon announced its purchase of connected doorbell company, Ring-for a reported $1 billion . Amazon's latest investment also comes after the company decided that it would no longer sell some products from Google's Nest smart home division.

Lower Prime Prices

Amazon will now offer customers who receive Medicaid the option to purchase a Prime membership at a discounted rate of $5.99 a month, a discount from the company's new $12.99 rate. Amazon's discount plan comes after the company rolled out discounted pricing for customers who hold a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer card.

Amazon plans to grab more customers through discounted pricing. However, the company also noted that it hopes to give more people access to additional "aspects of the digital economy - some conveniences and benefits - that I think a lot of us take for granted," Amazon executive Aaron Perrine told Recode .

If widely adopted, Amazon could expand the reach of its hugely popular e-commerce business and delivery services and further encroach on Walmart WMT by grabbing more lower-income customers.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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