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Exodus of original Siri team continues at Apple

Almost all of the talent Apple acquired from the original Siri team has reportedly left the company, with a pair of key departures having taken place in recent weeks.




Calling him "one of the last members of the original Siri team," The Information reported on Wednesday that Darren Haas has left Apple for General Electric. He'll join Steve D'Aurora, another ex-Siri team member who resigned from Apple for GE a few weeks ago.

The changeups also come a few days after a team of ex-Siri personnel unveiled Viv, a new, advanced virtual assistant that aims to offer functionality well beyond what Apple's Siri can currently do. Demonstrated tasks include ordering a car from Uber, buying flowers from FTD, and ordering tickets from a variety of services, and offer intelligent, contextual responses, such as alternatives when a showtime for a movie is sold out.

Haas's departure affirms an earlier rumor suggesting Apple's "head of cloud engineering" was on his way out the door. The Siri team is said to have clashed with management at Apple, and have particularly been at odds with the team that oversees Apple's iCloud services.

Apple apparently decided to extend the Siri cloud computing platform to include services under the iCloud team's banner, like iTunes and iMessages. That transition is said to have made some at Apple feel uneasy about job security.

Both Haas and D'Angelo were key acqui-hires that came on board through Apple's purchase of Siri in 2010. The tech developed by the company debuted on the iPhone 4s and is now integrated into all current iOS devices, serving functions from creating calendar entries to answering basic user inquiries.

However, Siri was meant to do much more than its current feature set as developed under Apple. Prior to the acquisition, Siri integrated with a number of e-commerce providers, ranging from movie tickets to food orders.

But Apple stripped away those partnerships, as a result of decisions made by late company co-founder Steve Jobs, according to Siri co-creator Dag Kittklaus. He, along with Adam Cheyer, have since left Apple to work on Viv.