Microsoft has hired Bill Stasior, the former Apple VP of AI and head of Siri team. A spokesperson of Microsoft confirmed the move and told CNBC that Stasior “will help work align technology strategies across the company.” Stasior, as of August 2019, is Microsoft’s Chief VP of technology.
The Redmond-based technology giant, which is the world’s most valuable company, hasn’t had success in establishing Cortana as the leading digital voice-based assistant. Cortana still exists, but it never managed to match the success of Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. The company knows that Cortana is no match to Alexa and which is why it has been slowly distancing the failed digital voice assistant from the Windows 10.
First reported by The Information, a San Francisco-based publication, Stasior role is to strengthen Microsoft’s efforts in artificial intelligence (AI). The company established its Artifical Intelligence and Research engineering group in 2016, and since then it has made several acquisitions and hires related to AI. Though it remains to be seen if Stasior was hired to revamp Cortana or work on a new voice-based digital assistant. Javier Soltero, who oversaw Microsoft’s Cortana, left the company last year.
Before leaving in May, Stasior was the Vice President of AI and Siri at Apple. He had been with the Cupertino company since 2012. Before his stint at Apple, the former Siri chief had worked as the Vice President of Amazon Search and CEO of Amazon Silicon Valley subsidiary Ag.com from 2003 to 2012.