Hey Cortana... I mean Google: Microsoft's ex-digital assistant boss to take the reins at G Suite
Javier Soltero looks forward to making a 'profound impact' on people's lives
Former Cortana boss and Acompli co-founder Javier Soltero has popped up at Google to helm the G-Suite team, nearly a year after his departure from Microsoft.
Squeaking excitedly about the chance to work on something people actually care about, Soltero made the announcement via Twitter last night.
Some news on the professional front… I’ve joined Google to lead the G Suite team! The opportunity to work with this team on products that have such a profound impact on the lives of people around the world is a real and rare privilege. I’m excited to get to work. pic.twitter.com/D0lMY81PXv— Javier Soltero 🇵🇷 (@jsoltero) October 21, 2019
Far be it from us to wonder whether Soltero had the best of experiences at Microsoft, having spent his final nine months trying to get someone, anyone, to recognise Cortana as anything other than that thing from that game (or a misspelling of Ford's beloved family vehicle of the 1970s).
Soltero, who was corporate veep of Microsoft's Cortana business, ended up overseeing the folding of the virtual personal assistant into the Windows giant's business arm as something better suited to more corporate pursuits.
With the demise of Windows Mobile and the failure of Cortana-powered speakers to set the world alight in the face of Amazon and Google dominance, the strategy made sense.
Not that Soltero stayed around to see the results, departing Microsoft in November 2018.
Before his stint at Microsoft, he co-founded Acompli, which was snapped up by Microsoft in 2014. Unsurprisingly, he was put to work on Outlook after the email vendor's acquisition before moving on to Office and later Cortana.
Soltero's new role puts him in head-to-head competition with Microsoft's Office behemoth, where Cortana now lurks, still led by executive vice president Rajesh Jha, who announced the buy of Acompli all those years ago. ®