According to a new report from The Information, the last remaining Siri cofounder has departed Apple. Tom Gruber, who served as the head of Siri’s Advanced Development group, has retired in an effort to “pursue personal interests in photography and ocean conversation,” the report says…
In addition to Gruber’s retirement, Apple’s head of search, Vipul Ved Prakash, has also departed the company. Apple confirmed both of these changes to The Information.
Gruber was the last remaining Siri cofounder to be at Apple. His two other cofounders, Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, left the company a few years ago and have both been somewhat critical of the direction in which Apple has taken Siri.
Meanwhile, Prakash joined Apple in 2013 after Apple acquired the search engine and analytics company Topsy, where he served as CEO. As we noted at the time, the deal was valued at upwards of $224 million. Apple shutdown Topsy two years after its acquisition.
The departures of Gruber and Prakash come as Apple is shuffling around its Siri team. Just last week, Apple announced that it was grouping its Siri and Machine Learning teams, with former Googler John Giannandrea serving as Chief of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.
Prior to Apple’s reorganization of its Siri team, development was overseen by Craig Federighi – who overtook the lead for Eddy Cue just last year. With the launch of HomePod and increasing competition from Google and Amazon, Apple’s Siri efforts have been put in the spotlight recently. With the team’s new leader and organizational structure – and the departure of its last remaining cofounder – it’s hard to know just what the future of Siri holds.