Amazon’s A9 Search Leader Joins Apple

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Benoit Dupin leaves Amazon for AppleBenoit Dupin, formerly Amazon's vice president of A9 Search Technology, now works for Apple and may be part of the company's team working on search technology for the iTunes Store, the App Store, and Maps. If so, that's a big win for Apple and a loss for Amazon because A9 is the core of Amazon's extensive site search system.

Apple isn't saying exactly what Mr. Dupin will be doing for the company, but insider sources claim his responsibilities would include iTunes and Maps-related search features, according to to 9to5 Mac.

Mr. Dupin could also be involved in Apple's in-app advertising efforts because he has some experience in that area, too. Another part of Amazon A9's job was to handle on-site advertising, which could translate into in-app ad support for Apple.

What's more likely is that Apple wanted his expertise to help beef up searching in its own Maps app, which is available in iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks.

It's possible Mr. Dupin will be taking over for Cathy Edwards as the director of Evaluation and Quality for Maps. Ms. Edwards is leaving Apple at the end of April, dovetailing nicely with the timing for Mr. Dupin's hiring.

Mr. Dupin's LinkedIn profile doesn't offer anything to hint at exactly what he's up to other than to say he's a director at Apple.

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Amazon's site searches may not always bring back the results we expect, but that doesn't mean Mr. Dupin can't be a strong asset to Apple's own Maps search features. Here's hoping for even more improvements to Maps.

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John Dingler, artist

Is Apple’s or Amazon’s current search results better? The answer better be Amazon’s otherwise this particular hire might be an echo of Tim Cook’s John Browett‎ mishire.

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