Apple and Amazon.com are becoming pretty intense rivals. And that rivalry is now spilling over into the war for talent. Kara Swisher at All Things D reports that Amazon.com executive William Stasior, who led the online retailer’s A9 search unit, has been hired by Apple to run the Siri voice recognition unit.
Swisher notes that much of the leadership team behind Siri, including co-founder Adam Cheyer and CEO Dag Kittlaus, have left Apple. Stasior’s hiring could be a sign that Apple is getting more aggressive about competing with Google.
Seattle networking giant F5 Networks has named Visa chief information officer Michael L. Dreyer to its board of directors. “Mike’s expertise and success as an IT executive in a highly complex and competitive industry will bring great value to our board,” said F5 CEO John McAdam in a press release. Dreyer received an M.B.A. and a B.A. in Psychology from Washington State University.
RealNetworks appears to be undergoing an InfoSpace-style makeover under the guidance of interim CEO and founder Rob Glaser. Three months after naming InfoSpace/Blucora board member John Cunningham to the board, Real has named former InfoSpace exec and corporate attorney Ed Belsheim Jr. to the position of senior vice president of corporate development. In the new role, Belsheim will be charged with helping to “revitalize RealNetworks and set the company up for renewed growth and success.” Belsheim worked at InfoSpace from 2000 to 2007, and most recently worked in the Seattle office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
“Ed is a great combination of a seasoned business executive and a change agent,” said Glaser. “In particular, Ed’s leadership role at InfoSpace demonstrates his ability to help a company successfully implement a transition to growth and profitability.”
Cloud storage startup Symform has named Bob DeSantis to the position of senior vice president of global sales and business development. DeSantis is the former vice president of sales at fast growing DocuSign where Symform CEO Matt Schiltz used to work. Before that, he worked in sales roles at Procuri and ImageX.
“Symform has created the most disruptive and innovative cloud storage business modelI’ve ever seen,” said DeSantis. “Accelerating the Symform Cloud Storage Network will be critical for long-term success, and I’m looking forward to playing a key role in a business that is changing the industry as we know it.”
Yahoo continues to go to the Google well. The company, under the direction of CEO Marissa Mayer, has appointed former Google executive Henrique de Castro as chief operating officer. De Castro plans to join the company in January, with Mayer noting his capabilities in ”structuring and scaling global organizations.” Reuters has more details on the appointment, which follows a series of new hires at the Internet company, including the hiring of former Amazon.com and Lockerz exec Kathy Savitt as chief marketing officer.
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