Apple tried to hire away former Google search chief Ben Gomes

When Apple went after a pair of high-profile managers for its Siri and artificial intelligence groups: Google’s top brass overseeing search.

Google breakup. Image: Google logo

Mark Gurman and Mark Bergen for Bloomberg News:

Apple succeeded in attracting one of those executives: John Giannandrea, who had served as Google’s search and AI chief, bringing him on as head of Siri and machine learning in 2018. That much is known. But Apple at one point also attempted to hire Giannandrea’s top search deputy and eventual successor, Ben Gomes, according to documents filed by the Department of Justice in its ongoing antitrust lawsuit against Google.

In a subpoena sent to Apple this week, the Justice Department asked the Cupertino, California-based technology giant to turn over documents related to efforts to hire Gomes and Giannandrea.

The subpoena demanded all documents starting in Jan. 1, 2010, about attempts to recruit employees from Google, Microsoft Corp.’s Bing, Yahoo! Inc. and DuckDuckGo “with expertise or experience in internet search services or search advertising, including: John Giannandrea and Ben Gomes.”

The document doesn’t say when Apple attempted to hire Gomes, but any such effort wasn’t successful. Gomes remains at Google…

MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps Apple had/has broader ambitions to take on Google more directly in search, which would be welcome as that market cries out for some real competition.

Apple did it with Maps, they could do it with search (and likely start out better than they started in Maps, which wouldn’t be difficult).

As we wrote over seven years ago, referring to Steve Jobs’ vow to go nuclear on Google over the stolen product of Android, about the idea that Apple should buy DuckDuckGo:

“If you really want to wage thermonuclear war, wage thermonuclear war.”

Plus, [DuckDuckGo] has a stupid name that just begs to be changed to “Apple Search.” It’s perfect for Apple!MacDailyNews, June 19, 2015

If you haven’t already, give DuckDuckGo a try today!

Apple allows users to easily switch to the privacy-respecting DuckDuckGo search engine in Safari:

1. Click Safari in the top menu bar.
2. Select Preferences.
3. Click on Search.
4. Select DuckDuckGo.

1. Open Settings.
2. Navigate and tap on Safari.
3. Tap on Search Engine.
4. Select DuckDuckGo.


  1. used to be the other way around. There is no longer any question that Apple has lost its way; they finally ran out of whatever Steve left behind, and clearly they can’t wing it. Sad.

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