Another one of the core people who brought Siri to life has left Apple, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Adam Cheyer was a cofounder of the intelligent voice assistant software company and its VP of engineering when it was acquired by Apple in 2010. It’s not clear when or why Cheyer left Apple, or what is next for him.
Cheyer is the second Siri cofounder to split from Apple in the last year: Siri CEO Dag Kittlaus left in October 2011. The last member of the founding team, Tom Gruber, remains at Apple, at least according to his LinkedIn profile.
In a few short years, Siri went from being a tiny company to the standout feature of Apple’s biggest product release last year, the iPhone 4S. The software, released while still in beta, has become a cultural touchstone, but has seen its share of issues. Several months ago, a Fortune report quoted anonymous Apple employees who claimed some inside Apple were “embarrassed” by Siri and that “Steve [Jobs] would have lost his mind over Siri.”
The timing behind both cofounders’ departures is certainly curious: Kittlaus left Apple right as the product he’d worked on since 2007 was on the verge of becoming a household name. Cheyer’s exit comes on the eve of the introduction of a new iPhone and the rollout of updated iOS software, which will include major improvements to Siri’s software.