Microsoft has snapped up the former Siri boss, who left Apple earlier in May 2019.
Bill Stasior joined Apple in 2012, taking over control of the Siri team not long after it made its debut with the iPhone 4s. In his job at Microsoft, Stasior will be corporate vice president of technology.
“Starting in August, he will work to help align technology strategies across the company,” Microsoft told CNBC.
The move underlines Microsoft’s commitment to emerging technologies, such as AI. The company has made numerous acquisitions and hires related to artificial intelligence across a number of domains.
Changing of the guard
Stasior was replaced as head of the Siri team in February. He left Apple a few months later. The shakeup was part of a broader effort by John Giannandrea, who joined Apple as itsSVP of machine learning and AI strategy in December last year.
According to a report by The Information, the shift was a fundamental rethink of Siri. Giannandrea wanted to push, “the Siri team to focus more on long-term research rather than incremental improvements that have defined Siri for most of the product’s history.”
Granted, here in 2019 a defection from Apple to Microsoft doesn’t mean what it did in, say 1996. The two companies are no longer at each other throats in the way that they once were. But an Apple team leader departing for Microsoft is still news. It’ll be interesting to see what Stasior can achieve there.