Roku Hires Apple’s Former Siri Boss To Lead Tech Development

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Brian Pinkerton

Brian Pinkerton (center) with Mark Zuckerburg (right) and Pricilia Chan (left). Image credit: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Roku revealed that it has brought Brian Pinkerton onboard as its new SVP of Advanced Technology. Pinkerton, a former Apple exec, joined the company last month but the hire was only recently unearthed by Bloomberg.

According to the company, Pinkerton is responsible for technical innovation and strategic software development across Roku’s platform. As he plots the company’s technological evolution, Pinkerton will draw on his over 30 years of tech experience and deep background in human-centered problems in computer systems and natural language processing.

Prior to accepting his position at Roku, Pinkerton was Apple’s Chief Architect of Siri, directing the development of the Cupertino giant’s almost ubiquitous voice assistant. Before landing at Apple, Pinkerton spent time as the CTO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organization created by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. He was also the VP of Search at Amazon and has held a number of leadership roles at tech firms like Lucidworks, Technorati, Excite, and AOL.

Pinkerton’s hiring could indicate the future development path of Roku’s media streaming sticks and general platform. Pinkerton’s deep search and AI background could mean a greater investment in search and discoverability features for Roku’s devices. His hiring could also signal tighter relations with Apple, as a recent operating system update for select Roku models included support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit for the first time, making it the first streaming device to support all three major voice assistants.

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