Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Another Microsoft Exec Joins Google 243

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the just-another-boring-sunday dept.
SirClicksalot writes "CNN is reporting that Vic Gundotra, a 15-year veteran general manager at Microsoft, has left the company to join Google. Gundotra worked at Microsoft as general manager for platform evangelism to get software developers to use Microsoft's software and online offerings. The function he will perform at Google is not yet known, but he will need to wait one year before starting his new job because of a non-compete clause in his contract."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Another Microsoft Exec Joins Google

Comments Filter:
  • Was that... (Score:5, Funny)

    by bcat24 (914105) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @11:51AM (#15645939) Homepage Journal
    the sound a chair being thrown?
  • Great News (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Azmodie (533657)
    More people leaving MS and oining Google means more google greatness :)
    • Re:Great News (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vertinox (846076) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @12:12PM (#15646007)
      More people leaving MS and oining Google means more google greatness :)

      Unless of course Microsoft's plan all along was to slowly replace all Google employees with former Microsoft ones. And when the code word is leaked they'll all revolt and start a hostile takeover by Microsoft.

      Of course the plan could back fire after the MS employees have their cold hearts melted by Google's love in some sort of 80's carebare-ish type of montage at the last moment.
      • by WilliamSChips (793741) <full DOT infinity AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday July 02, 2006 @01:22PM (#15646254) Journal
        The only problem is that Google's Stargate is connected to Thor's Hammer [wikipedia.org] so that all the Microsoft execs' symbiotes are killed and the hosts are allowed to regain control.
      • Unless of course Microsoft's plan all along was to slowly replace all Google employees with former Microsoft ones. And when the code word is leaked they'll all revolt and start a hostile takeover by Microsoft.


        you know what? i actually spent a few moments wondering if that were the case.

      • Re:Great News (Score:4, Insightful)

        by laffer1 (701823) <[luke] [at] [foolishgames.com]> on Sunday July 02, 2006 @03:16PM (#15646660) Homepage Journal
        I always find it interesting how many on slashdot find Microsoft employees at google so great. Most of us regularly make fun of Microsoft for one thing or another. Quite a few of us love some open source operating system. Yet, we want google to hire Microsoft employees? Do we think google will get better? Perhaps this trend is part of the problem. Many end users find google to be great. THey talk about gmail like its a new thing. (i had hotmail in 1998 people... and i got rid of it for a reason) What about the summer of code nightmare from lastyear thats rearing its ugly head yet again. I'm sure google will change the requirements which automatically voids applications and doesn't pay out again even though the person made real progress. Google does harm, its just not as bad as some companies. Google is a company... accept they aren't some idealistic open source fantasy.
        • Thing is, there are a lot of really smart people that work at MS. However, just because there are smart people doesn't mean there aren't dumb people who aren't able to properly manage them and get the most from their capabilities. Management is supposed to set the goals and guide the execution. If top management is setting the wrong goals or hindering execution, don't blame the people under them.
      • Less than 1% of the Google employees that came from Microsoft would start a hostile takeover of a company who's founders and CEO own well over 50% of the voting power??? I sincerely hope you were kidding, and a bunch of people clicked insightful by accident instead of funny.
    • Re:Great News (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iznogud (162711)
      When they are in MS, we see them as lazy, clumsy, evil, worst programmers in the world, etc. When they switch to Google, they suddenly becomes hottest programmers, managers, whatever in the Universe.
  • by dlawson (209945)
    More jokes about flying chairs.
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @11:54AM (#15645948) Journal
    "We are uncertain what precise role he will play when he begins working for Google, but he has a broad range of skills and experience which we believe will be valuable to Google," Google spokesman Steve Langdon said in an e-mail statement.

    Soo... the guy is going to take a year long vacation and then Google might know what job they're giving him?

    Either Google is lying or they're poaching MS execs just to be dicks.
    • Re:Curious statement (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bladesjester (774793) <slashdot@jamesho ... minus threevowel> on Sunday July 02, 2006 @12:18PM (#15646027) Homepage Journal
      Actually, if you think about it, it makes sense for a couple of reasons. He can't actively work for them for a year. This means two things:

      1) If they had announced his position now, by the time he actually got the ability to work for them, the landscape may have changed and they will either have to put him somewhere else (to cries of "Google is teh evil" because they said one thing and did another) or keep him in the position which they origionally stated, thus keeping him out of a position in which he may have been even more productive.

      2) If they announced his position now, that gives the competition time to plan around him. This is especially true of Microsoft, because they know him best since he worked for them for so long. They know how he thinks and the kind of direction he will attempt to give Google (which will depend on the position he fills). That is not something you want your opponant to know.
      • Actually, the GPs comment "Either Google is lying or they're poaching MS execs just to be dicks" could also apply if you add a word: Either Google is lying or they're poaching MS execs just to be strategic dicks.

        If the guy in question is truly one of a kind in his skills and abilities, Google is denying MS a valuable asset, even if Google leaves him on the bench, so to speak. ("Coach! Put me in!")

        This isn't the most probable reason, admittedly, but it's more than possible. Besides, Google has probably run o
    • Picking the low-hanging fruit is not being a dick.

      Microsoft is at the proverbial crossroads. Their products have stagnated -- there's been no real innovation for the consumer. The company caters to industry, even at the expense of the consumer -- they are at risk of a backlash.

      Bill is retiring, and Ballmer is viewed by many to be a goofball.

      Google is simply exploiting a competitor's weakness.

      Windows Vista had better be spectacular or Microsoft will be the next IBM. No company can stay at the top fore

    • For competition purposes it would make perfect sense for them to do it just to be dicks. They could probably just pay this guy to wash cars in a tube top for all they care (that won't happen though because they treat their people right).

      Google is genius. I think people may forget that sometimes. This guy leaving probably wouldn't affect MS products very much. I'm sure they'll replace him with a just as highly skilled person. However, it makes Microsoft look like fools. This is bad for public persona, con
    • "Either Google is lying or they're poaching MS execs just to be dicks."

      If I were Google I would do it just for that reason. And consider it a bonus if Ballmer to throws another chair.

      How demoralizing is it to the rank and file at Microsoft when senior executives are going to Google? Other people as Microsoft are going to quit, just to go somewhere that isn't a sinking ship. When someone as big as Microsoft has sworn to "fucking crush" you, and you have the money Google has, this is money well spent

      • How demoralizing is it to the rank and file at Microsoft when senior executives are going to Google?

        Not at all.

        Here are some reasons. First, general managers are a dime a dozen at Microsoft -- GMs report to corporate VPs, who are typically four layers of mangement away from Ballmer. Second, his departure will either allow his group to prune a layer of management, or promote someone from PUM to GM. Either operation makes the rather bloated platform org more responsive.

        The departures that Microsoft actuall

  • 1 year vacation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @11:55AM (#15645952)
    Not a bad deal. I'm sure Google will end up paying him for the 1 year vacation.
    • Re:1 year vacation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by canuck57 (662392) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @12:21PM (#15646042)

      Not a bad deal. I'm sure Google will end up paying him for the 1 year vacation.

      It really shouldn't be that way. If a company can stick a no-compete on you, then it is they that should have to pay you during the period that you cannot work in your profession. And if you do not have a job at the end of that period, they still should pay you up to two times the length of the clause.

      So if you work for a company, and have a 1 year no compete, they might have to pay you up to two years. The US and Canada being at will employment should work both ways equally.

      • Re:1 year vacation (Score:2, Insightful)

        by thrillseeker (518224)
        It really shouldn't be that way. If a company can stick a no-compete on you, then it is they that should have to pay you during the period that you cannot work

        Was someone holding a gun at your head when you accepted the contract?
        • When I have to pay the bills, and every job out there requires me to sign a non-compete clause, the gun might as well be there, yes. This is exactly why some states specifically don't allow for these clauses.
      • "If a company can stick a no-compete on you"

        The company doesn't 'stick' anything on you; I'm sure he didn't have to take that promotion from some mid-level manager to executive.
    • Not a bad deal. I'm sure Google will end up paying him for the 1 year vacation.

      I'm sure his hiring bonus was at least one year's salary.
  • Back in '45, gestapo members were taken into then newly-forming cia. The next 40 years have been a period where cia was run like a watered-down gestapo.

    Google has to watch out that the microsoft ex'es do not spoil the formation of 'do no evil' they got going on at google.
  • by Distinguished Hero (618385) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @11:59AM (#15645967) Homepage
    "Vic Gundotra ... has left the company to join Google. Gundotra worked at Microsoft as general manager for platform evangelism to get software developers to use Microsoft's software and online offerings." Hehe. I wonder how devoted he was to the job of "platform evangelism" given his willingness to defect / commit apostasy.
  • "We are uncertain what precise role he will play when he begins working for Google, but he has a broad range of skills and experience which we believe will be valuable to Google,"

    This catch my attention, i dont see too many companies with that insightfull and visionary view. (IMO it's amazing).


    The link seems down here is the CC Mirror [nyud.net]. I can grab directly from the front page (I use Slashdotter, the firefox extension).

    • Maybe it more cynical that then, the more disruption Google can cause to MS management i.e. by luring people away, the easier it is for Google to compete with them. Not to mention fact they expand their knowledge of the inner goings on and future plans of MS.
    • Uh... this is how all companies hire, especially at the manager level. You interview, they see if you seem like a good fit, and they hire you. Sometimes they may have an idea of where they're going to put you first, but it's rare that you'll stay in the exact same job for long anyway.
  • Non-compete? Ugh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wylfing (144940) <brian&wylfing,net> on Sunday July 02, 2006 @12:17PM (#15646024) Homepage Journal

    The Fine Summary sayeth:

    he will need to wait one year before starting his new job because of a non-compete clause in his contract

    That drives me insane. I had an employer once who tried to "get" me regarding a non-compete agreement, to wit he accused me of going after his customers. The problem was that no one could be excluded from that group -- he believed everyone on the planet was his customer. That's what I see when I read this. Google does not make operating systems or desktop software, they are a freakin' search company, and MS is not a search company. Yet MS identifies them as a competitor, just like they identify every company in existence as their competitor.

    • Re:Non-compete? Ugh. (Score:2, Informative)

      by enclaved (570296)

      Google does not make operating systems or desktop software, they are a freakin' search company, and MS is not a search company. Yet MS identifies them as a competitor, just like they identify every company in existence as their competitor.

      Google Desktop [google.com]

      Windows Live Search [live.com]

      I could probably go on and on about the products both companies make that directly compete with one another. MSN messenger Gtalk Hotmail Gmail etc etc.

    • They don't identity Burger King as a competitor.
    • Google does not make operating systems or desktop software, they are a freakin' search company, and MS is not a search company. Yet MS identifies them as a competitor, just like they identify every company in existence as their competitor.

      If a company is a threat to their current portfolio has never been very important to Microsoft. Remember why IE was crufted together in the first place? Netscape wasn't a direct threat to Microsoft (granted, the existence of a familiar browser on a different platform wou

  • Aren't those are unenforceable in California?
    • They're technically unenforcable everywhere. As I understand it, you can almost always go to court and either get the non-compete waived, or get the company you left to pay you for your time. In low-profile cases the company won't try to enforce it, and in high-profile cases like this it's probably easier to just wait it out than make a big fuss over it.
  • by zecg (521666) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @12:21PM (#15646040)
    Company policy all of a sudden not allowing him to be evil must be quite a thing to adapt to after Microsoft.
  • by hey! (33014) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @12:44PM (#15646110) Homepage Journal
    Chairman Mao's mordant quip notwithstanding.

    No.

    Power comes from the perception arising in the brains of others that you've got power.

    Even more so, it comes from the perception that you are gaining more of it in the future. It's almost as if the human mind projects the trends outward and tries to jump on the right bandwagon. I experienced this in the 80s and early 90s as people began to abandon other platforms for Windows. There was almost a sense of panic, that if you didn't get in soon enough you would be crushed.

    It follows that if the perception starts that you are losing power, you will lose it, and people will think about the consequences of tying themselves to you for too long. Lenin captured an empire pretty with little more than an audacious show of confidence in the face of deflating imperial fortunes.

    Microsoft's mind share survived the massive storm of the antitrust suit. But that was easy. But a steady trickle of news of people going over to a competitor with growing mindshare and momentum hurts them far beyond whatever those individuals could posisbly to them working for the competition. In the context of the Vista delays, a trickle of executives jumping ship tends to look the vanguard of the proverbial rats.
  • 1 year non-comp?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bogidu (300637)
    That's amazing. Many companies use this 1-year non-comp clause in their employment agreements that are usually nothing more than a way to lock employees into working for their company and effectively holding them hostage to whatever salary range that they originally agree. Only those select few individuals that make god-like salaries have the ability to quit a job, wait a year, then start with a new company.
    • if were hiring him is how will the industry change in one year? They clearly lured him away for a specific job - will it be there in a year and even if it is, how similar will it be to the position they've envisioned for him - NOW?

      Google must be paying him some kind of signing bonus, either immediate or defered, otherwise why would he even consider the job? So there are some direct costs involved, in addition to opportunity cost (i.e., why not hire someone who can start that job - NOW?)

      The one year downti
    • Re:1 year non-comp?? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Skreems (598317)
      Typically they only state that you can't work in the exact same space you left. So if you were writing code for web browsers, you couldn't go work for Mozilla. You can still go work in another area of computers, though, and it shouldn't be hard to find one you're qualified for. It seems like Google and this exec are just being overly cautious this time around.
  • by Comatose51 (687974) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @01:05PM (#15646174) Homepage
    Dear Steve Ballmer,

    At the rate Microsoft is losing executives to Google, you might be wondering how Microsoft is going to fill its ranks in the near future. Have no fear. I represent a client who have decades of managing large scale operations. His track record of coming up with complex plans for achieving great goals and his resiliency after failures speak for themselves. Most importantly, I can guarantee you that he will never, ever join Google because, like Microsoft, he too is inherently evil and hellbent on world domination.

    I give you, Dr. Evil.

    Best wishes,
    -Headhunter Inc.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt&lynx,bc,ca> on Sunday July 02, 2006 @01:10PM (#15646194) Journal
    Non-competes are often very easy to enforce the person left his earlier job voluntarily.

    They are quite tricky to enforce if it can be shown that the change in careers was not completely voluntary, however. (Either being let go for reasons beyond the employee's control, he was under duress, constructive dismissal, etc...).

  • by DittoBox (978894) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @01:11PM (#15646200) Homepage
    I'm gunna ****ing kill those chair jokes! I've done it before and I'll do it again. I'm gunna ****ing kill those ****ing chair jokes!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02, 2006 @01:12PM (#15646201)
    1. Uncle Fester look-alike
    2. Furniture mover



    Cast your votes now!
  • by alexandreracine (859693) <alexandreracine@gmail.com> on Sunday July 02, 2006 @01:13PM (#15646213) Homepage Journal
    Gundotra worked at Microsoft as general manager for platform evangelism...
    What's that? Now you have to pray for your Microsoft software to work correcly?
    • Indeed. This is the latest extension of the "Shrug and Pray" technology that we've all come to know and love.
    • Now you have to pray for your Microsoft software to work correcly?

      You make it sound like it's a new thing. Hasn't this always been the case ?

    • "Friends and neighbors, neighbors and friends: I'm here to give you the Good News about the Salvation to be found by embracing Microsoft Products and escaping the toils of the Devil Linux and its Legion of Unclean distros. I'm here to give you the facts about TCO and uptime to spare you the Hellfire of unsupported open source software!"
  • by melted (227442) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @01:58PM (#15646384) Homepage
    No chairs will be thrown over this departure. The dude was a bullshit master. And not just that, but he was managing other bullshit masters, which kind of means he didn't have much time to spout bullshit outside MSFT. There are millions of bullshit masters in the US, especially if you pay them Gundotra's salary. Chairs will be thrown if senior engineering staff (of Bosworth and Lucovsky level) departs. Those folks are harder to replace and Google should start targeting them instead if they want to piss off Ballmer.
  • Worried... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trifthen (40989) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @02:53PM (#15646580) Homepage
    Maybe it's just me, but I'm not particularly excited about MS Execs being hired by Google. Do we really want Google to turn into another Microsoft?

    Please Google, for the love of $diety, please hire execs from reputable companies...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02, 2006 @03:25PM (#15646688)
    If you read the Mini-Microsoft blog you should know that the plan is to ruin Google by giving them the senior Microsoft management...
  • In soviet Russia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @04:55PM (#15647004) Journal
    Google hires MS executives! ... wait a minute?

    Seriously, Borland tried to sue MS over this practice of luring all their good people away. Borland could not get anthing done as Microsoft's strategy was to send limo's and free lunches to Borland product managers and offer them lucrative positions at MS with cheap stock option signing bonuses. There products fell behind and Visual Studio took over.

    Now the tides have turned.

    I think this says alot about Microsoft as well. The people who are attracted to work at MS are hell bent on success and leading changes and being part of something successfull and new. Ms was king in the 90's and led the innovation and set the standards for computers and the future was bright and they were considered the wave of the future.

    Today, Google is the new and innovative kid on the block and MS is stagnating. These same kind of people who like to make differences and be powerfull to satisfy their ego's see MS as the legacy company and google as the new innovative one. My, have times changed. This is bad news for Microsoft and morale at the company. They need to focus on something new besides upgrading windows and making yet game console.

    So in the 90's MS hires your executives from YOU! Today Google hires MS executives.
  • I predict... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OfNoAccount (906368)
    ...that by 2012 Google won't be able to ship products on time.

    Why? Well MS appears to have serious problems making things happen now, but it didn't used to. So, what's changed? Clearly not the recent defections - until very recently these folks were still at MS. I suspect that the people who actually made things happen left sometime around 2001/2002, and the folks that are leaving now might be the cause of the current problems at Redmond.
  • So what's the liklihood of having a severance package to go along with that non-compete clause? I wouldn't myself dream of working anywhere that had a non-compete agreement if they didn't add a severance package to the agreement.
  • by I'm Don Giovanni (598558) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @08:13PM (#15647600)
    While you guys celebrate Google hiring MS execs that do nothing, Microsoft is hiring away Google tech guys that actually do something besides draw a huge salary. I refer to guys like Danny Thorpe [msdn.com], who grew to be a legend as a Delphi dev at Borland, went to Google, stayed for 4 months, then quit and went to Microsoft to work on their live.com stuff. (If you read between the lines of Danny Thorpe's posts to the borland.public.delphi.non-technical newsgroup (accessible from Borland's newsserver and Google Groups), you get the idea that Danny concluded that Google isn't all it's cracked up to be.)

    Also, Scoble's recent blog regarding this thread's topic says that he's met many former Google employees that now work at Microsoft, but you don't hear about them (I assume because they aren't big fat salary drawing execs, but are instead actual tech guys; and Microsoft doesn't feel the need to alert the media to such hirings like Google does (Google needs to do all it can to justify its inflated stock price)).
  • Strategic? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OverflowingBitBucket (464177) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @08:56PM (#15647692) Homepage Journal
    Okay, I'm too late for a chair joke, so I guess I'll share my other thoughts.

    Maybe Google are hiring away Microsofties in strategic positions, deliberately targeting those who have greater worth that their current compensation, partly to gain and partly to hurt Microsoft in a completely legal way?

    They do have an advantage over Microsoft that they are probably playing to their advantage; ethically compared to Microsoft, Google are freaking angels.
  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @10:04PM (#15647876) Journal
    If what we know about their different personalities from public appearances (Geek vs. Monkey Dancer) I'd say that a lot of people in high places are happy to work for the Borg under one Locutus, but not the other. Frankly I see Ballmer as a very rich sociopath, and if were in those circles I wouldn't want to work for him either. Gates would be ok, as a person, I think. But I would be terrified of working for Ballmer, and would jump ship at the nearest opportunity. Money can only go so far in overcoming fear for your life.

"The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl." -- Dave Barry

Working...