Second Siri Co-Founder Adam Cheyer Leaves Apple Ahead Of New Features In iOS 6 [Updated]

Second Siri Co-Founder Adam Cheyer Leaves Apple Ahead Of New Features In iOS 6 [Updated]

Bye bye, Cheyer.

Former Siri CEO Dag Kittlaus left Apple last year, and now the revolutionary platform’s other co-founder has reportedly left Apple as well. According to Bloomberg, Siri co-founder Adam Cheyer recently left Apple for unknown reasons.

Apple bought Siri back in April of 2010 for a rumored $200 million, and Siri has since become a staple feature of the iPhone 4S and iPad. Given the imminent public release of the new and improved Siri in iOS 6, Cheyer’s departure is interestingly timed.

Adam Cheyer, an engineer who helped build the Siri voice-recognition software that was acquired by Apple Inc., is no longer working for the iPhone maker, according to three people familiar with the situation.

Cheyer, a Siri co-founder and its former vice president of engineering, left recently after working in Apple’s mobile software group, said one of the people, who all asked not to be identified as the matter is confidential.

Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged Siri’s room for improvement at a recent AllThingsD interview:

“Yes it [Siri] could be broader, but Siri as a feature has moved into the mainstream. So I think you’re going to be really happy with where it’s going. We’re doubling down on it.”

iOS 6 includes multiple improvements to Siri, including the ability to give sports scores, movie ticket info, book restaurant tables, launch apps, and update Twitter and Facebook. Plagued by early server outages, Siri also seems to be more reliable lately. Perhaps Cheyer is simply no longer needed in Cupertino.

Whatever the reasons may be, both of the men behind Siri are no longer working on the technology at Apple.

Update: AllThingsD notes that Cheyer left Apple back in June. Xconomy has an email from the Siri co-founder:

Adam Cheyer, the chief technical architect behind the Siri virtual personal assistant technology in Apple’s iPhone 4S, confirmed a report today that he has resigned from Apple.

“I left Apple for personal reasons some time ago,” Cheyer told Xconomy by e-mail today.

In the email, Cheyer said that he is still “very bullish on the future for Siri.”

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  • robert_walter

    Binge & purge…

  • Frank Lowney

    Their work is done and the time is right to leave Apple in time to use iOS 6 as leverage in launching a new venture. “We did this for Apple and it’s been wildly successful. We can do the same for you with if you will fund it. Slam dunk!

  • technochick

    It’s very possible that these departures were planned from the beginning.

  • RaptorOO7

    With any major purchase like their company they likely had a contract saying they would stay on for a certain amount of time and that time is up. If they got $200 million they are likely very happy, don’t have to work and could do anything. Hopefully they are not like the Winkelvoss boys and can come up with another great idea other than Facebook.

  • Zod Buster

    The start of a reality check at apple… it’s not the same company anymore… wait and see

  • lwdesign1

    The start of a reality check at apple… it’s not the same company anymore… wait and see

    This is a very pessimistic attitude and I don’t believe your negative spin on this is at all true.

    Apple bought the company that developed Siri, and along with the millions each of the founders made there were undoubtedly some kind of agreements in place that the founders would continue to work on developing Siri for a specified amount of time, and train Apple’s engineers on how it worked. This is a logical strategy when a company is bought for its proprietary technology. Once the contractual time is up, the founders/programmers would have the option of staying on or leaving for other projects, or simply kicking back for a year or two on a Caribbean island enjoying the time off. If I had 50 to 100 million, I know I’d take some time off for a while before I was ready to get back to work. Apple has never been doing better, and the technology is still incredible.

    You remind me of the people who hate Siri, saying it doesn’t live up to their expectations. I say hogwash! Siri allows me to do TONS of things I could never do before, all by simply talking to my phone. I use Siri for what it DOES DO now, not what I think it should be doing. All that said, I can’t wait for Siri to continue to be developed and brought to the Mac. I look forward to the day that I can control my whole house by voice command, as a logical extension of Siri.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for over two years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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