Former Siri Chief Bill Stasior is joining Microsoft as the corporate vice president of technology. According to The Information, however, Stasior won’t be working directly on the company’s dwindling assistant, Cortana.
Instead, his role will be to align technology strategies more generally. He’ll be part of the office of Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott, LinkedIn’s former infrastructure chief. He joins the company as it tries to work out where to position Cortana after ceding that the AI will never be able to compete with Alexa.
While removing the assistant from Windows, it’s looking to broaden her skillset to more complex and focused productivity queries. No doubt it’s going to take some work to ensure everything aligns with Microsoft’s general tech strategy, while rumored entries like a foldable tablet are also likely to shift focuses.
Trading Giannandrea for Scott
Stasior will be joining the company officially later this month, but it’s worth noting that he didn’t come straight from Apple. He departed the company in May after former Google AI chief took John Giannandrea more of an active role in Siri. Since, he’s been an executive advisor at Avellino Lab, a genetic services provider looking to utilize AI.
Before Apple, he worked on Amazon search and was president of Amazon subsidiary A9.com. He was hired to shopping giant for his previous work on the AltaVista search engine, with his role in tech going as far back as Oracle in 1997.
Needless to say, Stasior has a lot of experience with AI and search and has held plenty of VP roles. It’ll be interesting to see if his hiring has any trickle-down impacts from a consumer perspective.