Two major Apple staffing moves came to light this weekend, with one employee on the way out, and one coming in, both of whom either have or will have the chance to figure prominently in the company’s future. Stacey reported on Saturday that former Yahoo Global Data Center Chief Scott Noteboom appears to have joined the Apple team, and a report from AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher says Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus is leaving.
Kittlaus was not only co-founder of the company behind Siri, but also its CEO when it was acquired by Apple in 2010. The reasons for his departure included wanting to be closer to family, who are based in Chicago, and an interest in pursuing more entrepreneurial plans, according to Swisher’s sources. Kittlaus’ leave-taking is said to be “amicable” and long-planned.
Despite his role in the creation of Siri, the voice-powered assistant that’s the star of the show for the new iPhone 4S, it should remain in good hands at Apple without him, as sources claim other key staff and executives from Siri will remain at Apple following Kittlaus’ departure. The other two Siri co-founders, Adam Cheyer and Tom Gruber, both remain Apple staff members, according to their LinkedIn profiles. Gruber and Cheyer have more technical background than Kittlaus and were VP of engineering and CTO, respectively, at Siri prior to the acquisition.
Kittlaus’ departure likely won’t slow down Apple’s investment in or development of Siri, but its hiring of Noteboom away from Yahoo definitely indicates it wants to beef up its cloud infrastructure, which is a big part of what powers Siri. The next step for the digital assistant is probably rolling out international localizations of features tied to maps and local search, which will undoubtedly be a huge challenge from a data center management perspective. Apple has promised additional country localizations by 2012 on its official Siri FAQ.