The Vice President (VP) of the Siri team at Apple — Bill Stasior — has reportedly stepped down from his designation after seven years of service. The former Amazon executive was hired by Apple in 2012 to oversee both, search and Siri as VP.
“Though Stasior remains in the company, he is no longer heading the voice assistant group, said five people with knowledge of the change,” The Information reported on Friday.
The change appears to be part of an effort by Apple’s Senior Vice President (SVP) of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) strategy — John Giannandrea — to strengthen his stronghold on Apple’s voice assistant team, the report said.
Giannandrea’s aim is to bring long-term research based changes to Siri rather than just focusing on incremental improvements.
He is expected to also look for a new Siri leader.
Even though Apple’s initial effort to extend Siri to homes through the company’s HomePod smart speaker has not caught on, the voice assistant still has a powerful distribution channel in the iPhone and the company could have an opportunity to launch more privacy focused AI products in comparison to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, the report added.
Apple has not yet released an official statement confirming or declining the reports of Stasior’s stepping down.
Announced as part of iPhone 4S, Siri came into existence as Apple’s mainstream voice assistant in 2011.