Wifarer CEO and co-founder Philip Stanger has left his position at the company he founded to join Apple in a leadership role, reports TechCrunch. Stanger was hired individually and not as part of a larger acquisition of the Wifarer company.
Stanger recently updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect his new job at the Cupertino company, while at the same time, the leadership page detailing the executive team at Wifarer has been removed from the company's website. Wifarer is known for its indoor positioning system (IPS) technology, which debuted first for Android and more recently for iOS.
The company's technology uses existing Wi-Fi networks, iBeacons, or the company's own Bluetooh LE beacons to accurately locate customers when they are moving through an indoor venue. Apple apparently hired Stanger for his expertise in this area and either did not want Wifarer's technology or was unable to negotiate a deal acceptable to both parties. TechCrunch notes, however, that Stanger's background does not appear to be technical, making it unclear what role he will play at Apple.
The hire is additionally odd - versus, say, a complete acquisition of the small company – because Stanger’s background, which includes a bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s degree from Yale University, is not (at least formally), technical in nature. Instead, he worked at places like Paramount Pictures and the BBC prior to Wifarer.
Apple has been making a push into the indoor location field as part of its larger efforts at bringing mapping and location functionality in-house, as evidenced by its 2013 acquisition of startup WifiSLAM.