The Last Siri Co-founder Has Left Apple
His name is Tom Gruber and along with Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, and back in 2010 he helped create one of Apple's most easily recognized innovations in Siri for the small price of $200 million.
However, today marks Gruber last day as head of Siri’s Advanced Development group, aligning with Apple's poaching of John Giannandrea - Google's former head of search and artificial intelligence - a few months ago. Apple has reported that Gruber will "pursue personal interests" including photography and ocean conservation.
When Siri first launched, it was nothing short of space-age wizardry. As if the iPhone 4S wasn't impressive enough, now consumers were getting their first taste of voice control. Nobody had anything like it and its functionality was beyond impressive. Fast forward eight years later and the story hasn't really changed. And what I mean is less of Apple is light years ahead of the curve and more of Siri literally hasn't changed. It's still getting you the weather, it's still sending text messages, and it's still searching the web.
Since then, Siris has had a massive dropoff letting Amazon and Google dominate the space. As if that isn't bad enough, Kittlaus and Cheyer had left Apple a few years ago to create Viv Labs and help direct Samsung to their supremely underwhelming Bixby.
Internally, Siri has seen a considerable amount of leadership turnover in recent years with a long list of notable talent leaving for different projects.
The recent hire in Giannandrea was because Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, had lost his responsibilities as Head of A.I. in 2017. Prior to that, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, oversaw Siri. Also of note, Bill Staisor, a former Amazon executive and an expert in search, was allegedly a point of "friction" and a massive roadblock in terms of direction and innovation for Siri.
Along with Gruber, Apple's head of search, Vipul Ved Prakash, has also left the company, according to The Information. Prakash joined Apple when his company, Topsy, was acquired in 2013. His search team was also within the Siri group.