Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has hired Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) executive and search specialist William Stasior to head its department that handles the Siri voice-based personal-assistant program, according to a report in AllThingsD. Stasior, who has also worked at Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and AltaVista previously, was in charge of A9, Amazon’s search and search advertising unit that provides search for the retailer’s sites worldwide. He joined Amazon in 2003 as its director of search and navigation.
Apple acquired Siri in April 2010 and launched it as a built-in app for its mobile devices starting with the iPhone 4S last October. However, the program has received a fair share of criticism over the past year and some feel it hasn’t really helped Apple make a dent in Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) search might. It has also been suggested that Apple may be looking to get rid of Google as a search option from iOS devices, considering the growing rivalry between the two. Apple recently removed Google Maps from its mobile devices, even though the move was highly criticized by users and chief executive Tim Cook had to ultimately write a public letter of apology.
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The Siri team has also lost some key officials since Apple acquired the technology, with co-founder and CEO Dag Kittlaus leaving soon after the launch of the iPhone 4S and co-founder Adam Cheyer quitting recently.
Apple is clearly not shy of recruiting from rivals. Last week, it was reported that the iPhone maker had hired former Samsung chip designer Jim Mergard to possibly design new mobile processors.
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