Apple hires Amazon search exec to run Siri

Apple has hired William Stasior, an Amazon executive, to run the Siri unit. At Amazon, Stasior ran the group responsible for Amazon’s search and search advertising efforts, known as A9, and has previously worked at Oracle, Netcentives, and AltaVista. Given Stasior’s experience in search, there are a number of reasons that he could have been brought on. All Things D has the story, and offers some guesses:

What’s more intriguing is what else Stasior might find himself working on — presumably, strengthening Apple’s search and search advertising technology in the wake of its increasing competition with Google.

Apple has recently tossed Google’s mapping technology from its latest version of its iOS 6 operating system and could eventually remove it as a search option too on its popular smartphones and also its other computing devices and software.

Never say never, but people are searching less for the first time in history, and Apple is a future-thinking company. Simple web search is the now, what's the next?

There's no greater hint than Apple putting Stasior in charge of Siri. Siri is, at its core, an evolution of search. It searches for weather, sports, movies, your music, contacts, apps, and it searches the web. But it does so in an intermediated way, where best-of-breed information sources are lined up for specialized results, including Yelp, Wolfram Alpha, Open Table, and Google.

Stasior comes from a team at Amazon that was responsible for Amazon’s cloud search abilities, and much of the work on cloud search includes scalability of the system, something Siri will need as Apple rolls out more features, and more consistent features.

Natural language may or may not be the next big thing, and Siri may or may not be the way natural language interfaces get popularized, but if they are and if Siri is, Apple needs to have it rock solid and ready.

Stasior could help make that a reality.

Source: All Things Digital

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Joseph Keller

News Writer for Mobile Nations. Fascinated by the ways that technology connects us.

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Reader comments

Apple hires Amazon search exec to run Siri


When some of your biggest "failures" (I use the term loosely) are cloud related, what do you do? Hire someone in charge of, arguably, one of the best in the cloud/consumer area. Great move.

A lot like the JC Penny hire of Ron Johnson. A company in trouble looked to the leader and said, "If we can get <insert name here> from <leading company here>, we have a chance."

Well it looks like Apple is making the right moves in intelligent, natural language Search for the mobile platform. I don't think this has anything to do with the Cloud. Apple is quite ahead in the cloud game.