Federighi takes up the Siri reins at Apple

David Murphy
Apple's new Siri boss, Craig Federighi

Apple’s Siri has a new boss. Late last week, Apple updated its leadership page, and in doing so, revealed that Craig Federighi, SVP, software engineering, is now leading the company’s Siri development efforts. Eddy Cue, SVP, internet software and services, was previously running Siri, but in the latest update to its leadership pages, all references to Siri have been quietly removed from Cue’s bio.

Federighi’s official bio says: “Craig oversees the development of iOS, macOS, and Siri. His teams are responsible for delivering the software at the heart of Apple’s innovative products, including the user interface, applications and frameworks.”

Federighi returned to Apple in 2009 after a spell at NeXT, and a decade at eCommerce firm Ariba. The change in leadership comes as competition intensifies in the personal assistant/AI space. Earlier this week, in a rare show of collaboration, Amazon and Microsoft revealed that from later this year Alexa and Cortana, their respective personal assistants, will be able to communicate and work with each other.

Consumers will be able to instruct their Amazon Echo and other Alexa-powered devices to open Cortana and then start querying Microsoft's voice assistant, while users with the Windows 10 operating system will be able to activate Alexa via Cortana in a similar way.

The two companies said the partnership between their voice assistants was designed to highlight the strength of each respective piece of software, and provide customers with the benefits of both. Alexa users will be able to access Cortana's integration with Microsoft Outlook, set reminders and access work calendars, while Cortana users will be able to control their smart home, make use of third-party skills or shop using Alexa.