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Monday, October 15, 2012, 12:37 pm PT (03:37 pm ET)

Apple hires Amazon executive to head its Siri search team

Apple has hired William Stasior, a former Amazon executive and "prominent search technologist," who will now run its Siri personal assistant division.

Citing sources familiar with the hiring, Kara Swisher of AllThingsD reported on Monday that Stasior will be in charge of Siri, and the hiring could hint that Apple is planning to make a bigger push into the search business. The current market leader, Google, is a fierce rival of Apple's, so much so that Apple opted to ditch Google Maps for its own mapping solution with iOS 6.

Swisher said that Apple "could eventually remove" Google as a search option on iOS devices. Currently, Google is the default search choice on the iPhone and iPad.

Stasior

William Stasior, via stasior.com.


Earlier this month, one report revealed that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs considered removing Google search from iOS in response to Google's entrance into the smartphone market with its Android operating system. However, Jobs and the company ultimately decided against removing Google, as they felt it would upset users too greatly.

Apple's own in-house search technology team will presumably get a boost from the presence of Stasior, who has been in charge of Amazon's A9 search technology. He was also formerly an executive at the search engine AltaVista.

Apple is also adding to its Siri team after losing some key personnel from the team it acquired when it purchased the voice-driven technology. Dag Kittlaus, co-founder and CEO of Siri, left Apple after the iPhone 4S launch last October, while Adam Cheyer, who also co-founded Siri, left Apple recently, according to Swisher.