Apple Relocating Siri Evaluation Team in San Diego to Austin

Apple is relocating a team of around 120 people focused on improving Siri from San Diego to Austin later this year, according to multiple affected employees.

hey siri banner apple
The reorganization was confirmed by Apple today in a statement shared with MacRumors.

"We're bringing our Data Operations Annotations teams in the US together at our campus in Austin, where a majority of the team is already based," an Apple spokesperson said. "Everyone currently employed will have the opportunity to continue their role with Apple in Austin. We are deeply committed to San Diego where we have grown significantly, and are continuing to hire as we expand our world-class engineering teams."

The news was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who said employees in San Diego willing to relocate to Austin by June will be able to continue in their roles. The report said employees who do not relocate or find another role within Apple will receive severance pay, and outlines many other specific details.

While some other large tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have laid off thousands of employees over the past year, Apple has so far avoided this outcome. However, it is unlikely that all affected employees in San Diego are willing to relocate over a thousand miles away to Austin, so some may be facing termination.

"Data Operations Annotations" employees are primarily tasked with evaluating Siri's responses to queries from customers who have opted in to the Siri grading program. In the U.S., this work will continue entirely in Austin going forward. Apple has similar teams in China, Ireland, Singapore, Spain, and other countries around the world.

Apple had approximately 161,000 full-time employees as of September 30, according to a company filing last year.

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Top Rated Comments

andrewxgx Avatar
27 weeks ago
CEO Handbook, page 236: how to perform group layoff without performing a group layoff
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
topdrawer Avatar
27 weeks ago
condolences to the demoted employees moving to austin.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eric_WVGG Avatar
27 weeks ago
As a person who sincerely likes Austin, and even prefers it to San Diego: I would absolutely lose my **** if I were given an ultimatum like this.

The real estate market in Austin is utterly insane. The school system is crap, and telling your kids they have to lose all their friends is borderline traumatic.

Not cool, at all. Also 4 weeks severance, even with the "extra week for every year of employment," is insulting. Google is handing out 6 months paid to their laid off drones.

It's difficult for me to imagine this action not being partially motivated as a way of thinning some ranks without generating bad headlines (as @andrewxgx suggested)… I'm usually optimistic about Apple and give them the benefit of the doubt, but this is really awful.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
klasma Avatar
27 weeks ago
So the team “focused on improving Siri” is called DOA. That explains a lot.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sesnir Avatar
27 weeks ago
lol Texas, how depressing
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
27 weeks ago
Nice way too fire people without firing people and most likely avoiding the (what I can only assume) strict regulations of California
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)