Alex Hardiman. Photo: Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Alex Hardiman, head of news products at Facebook, is joining The Atlantic as Chief Business and Product Officer, where she'll lead product, audience experience, and consumer revenue efforts for the magazine turned digital enterprise.

Why it matters: Hardiman, a New York Times product veteran of ten years, led the team that built dozens of news products at Facebook. She joins The Atlantic not only with one of the strongest news product backgrounds in the market, but also with a unique sense of how to manage the difficult balance of business and editorial needs.

The details: In a note to staff, The Atlantic president Bob Cohn says Hardiman will be dedicated to "elevating the user experience on desktop and mobile, newsletters, podcasts, video, apps, virtual reality, and smart speakers."

  • Hardiman will also be responsible for helping to shape and expand The Atlantic’s digital consumer business, which includes its recently-launched membership program, The Masthead.

Hardiman's hire is part of a larger expansion at The Atlantic. In February, the company announced it would be adding 100 new staff across various departments, including in product, engineering, data, audience development, and consumer marketing — departments Cohn says have doubled in staff in the past year.

Our thought bubble: This is a sophisticated hire for Atlantic, which is pushing to invest more heavily in product and technology under the leadership of its new majority owner, Emerson Collective.

Note: Emerson Collective is an investor in Axios.

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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that President Trump will "accept the results of a free and fair election," but did not specify whether he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses to Joe Biden.

Why it matters: Trump refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power, instead remarking: "we're going to have to see what happens."

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In an urgent appeal on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said President Trump presented "unique threats to our democracy" and detailed a plan to ensure the election results will be honored and that voters can cast their ballots safely.

Driving the news: When asked yesterday whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, Trump would not, and said: "We're going to have to see what happens."

Ina Fried, author of Login
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Amazon's new spherical Echo smart speaker. Screenshot: Axios

Amazon debuted a range of new Ring, Fire TV and Echo hardware on Thursday, including more environmentally sustainable versions of its audio and video gear. Among the products introduced are a cloud gaming service, a home monitoring drone and new spherical designs for its Echo and Echo dot smart speakers.

Why it matters: Amazon, like rivals Google and Apple, typically gives its consumer hardware a launch ahead of the holidays. Apple has already introduced new iPads, while Google has scheduled a Sept. 30 event, where it is expected to debut new audio and video gear, alongside updated Pixel phones.

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