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Square Hires Amazon Executive Who Helped Launch Amazon's Square Competitor

Mary Kay Bowman is Square's new head of payments partnerships and operations.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Just a few months ago, Mary Kay Bowman was leading a new Amazon product that hoped to challenge Square’s core payments business. Now, Bowman is on the other side — she has recently taken a top role at Square, according to an update to her LinkedIn bio.

At Square, Bowman will serve as the company’s head of payments partnerships and operations, a Square spokeswoman confirmed. She’ll create partnerships to help Square expand globally and help to create new payments products for merchants.

“Mary Kay brings to Square more than 20 years of experience in global payments strategy, across commerce initiatives both online and offline,” the Square spokeswoman said. “We’re thrilled she’s joined us.”

Bowman spent 11 years at Amazon and was one of its longest-tenured payments executives. She most recently helped run Amazon Local Register, a new product that launched in the summer and includes a credit card reader and checkout software app that is a direct challenger to Square. At Amazon, she was seen as one of its most experienced payments executives and a fantastic negotiator, according to a source.

Her departure from Amazon is the latest in a series of high-profile exits from Amazon’s Local Commerce unit, home to its Local Register product as well as a mobile wallet app that was killed after a limited beta test. In February, Bowman’s former boss Matt Swann took a job at Citigroup. The unit’s engineering director recently left for the CTO role at online payments company YapStone, and product exec Eric Harber has also left the company. Charlie Kindel, the longtime Microsoft executive who oversaw the Amazon Wallet product, is still at Amazon but has a new role outside the payments group as director of product for the company’s Echo speaker device.

All of these departures raise the question of how committed Amazon is to the Local Register product. An Amazon spokesman declined to comment on that question, as well as on Bowman’s departure.

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