It’s been almost a year since Javier Soltero, the former head of Outlook and Cortana at Microsoft left the company, but Axios reported yesterday that the former Microsoft exec has been hired by Google to lead G Suite. For those unfamiliar, G Suite is Google’s alternative to Microsoft’s Office 365, combining Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive and more in a single package.
As the founder of the Acompli email app, which Microsoft purchased to rebrand it to Outlook Mobile, Soltero is definitely a great hire for Google. The Axios report mentions that Soltero will report directly to Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian.
Google’s G Suite may be lagging behind Office 365 in the business world, but Microsoft definitely shouldn’t underestimate the competition. Google has built a collection of solid web and mobile apps over the years, with G Suite plans starting at $6 per month per user for the Basic plan. The more expensive Business and Enterprise plan also provide unlimited cloud storage (or 1TB per user if fewer than 5 users), which can be interesting for SMBs.
Even though Soltero left Microsoft a year ago, he isn't the only high-profile Microsoftee to join another GAFA. Gabe Aul, former head of the Windows Insider program left Microsoft to join Facebook back in June. Last year, we also saw Xbox veteran Albert Penello join Amazon to "grow Alexa/Echo presence in gaming." A recent report from CNBC actually pointed out that Amazon had hired at least 30 executives from Microsoft between 2015 and 2017, mostly due to the fact that both companies are very close to each other in the Seattle metropolitan area.