When chairs fly: Another Microsoft exec jumps ship for Google

“It hasn’t been a good month for Microsoft’s Google-fighters. So bad that one left abruptly last week, and another decided this week to switch teams,” Owen Thomas reports for Business 2.0.

“Vic Gundotra, a general manager for platform evangelism at Microsoft and a 15-year employee, has agreed to join Google after first spending a year working on charitable endeavors, Business 2.0 has learned,” Thomas reports. “‘Mr. Gundotra has resigned from Microsoft (Charts) and entered into an agreement with Google,’ Google spokesman Steve Langdon wrote in an emailed statement. ‘He will not be a Google employee for one year and intends to spend that time on philanthropic pursuits. 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.'”

“Microsoft spokesman Tom Pilla confirmed Gundotra’s departure and says that the executive has a noncompete agreement with Microsoft preventing him from working for a competitor for one year after leaving the company,” Thomas reports.

“Gundotra had been charged with getting developers to write programs that build on top of Microsoft’s desktop software and online services. Most recently he had been working out a strategy to compete with the draw of Google’s newer, Web-based software applications,” Thomas reports. “His departure comes shortly after the abrupt departure of Martin Taylor, a corporate vice president charged countering Google by marketing Microsoft’s Windows Live and MSN services.”

“Among the ex-Microsoft executives and top technical talent now at Google are former Microsoft China head Kai-Fu Lee; Mark Lucovsky, a top engineer whose departure upset Ballmer so much that the CEO allegedly threw a chair across an office; and Adam Bosworth, a former general manager and software expert,” Thomas reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Turd Ferguson” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Towels or no towels, like rats from a sinking ship, off the smart ones swim. We can think of worse jobs than being a platform evangelist for Windows… strike that, no we can’t. Today Ballmer’s bald dome could actually turn beet red and then just pop right off like a dandelion. Failing that, at the very least Redmond’s Office Depot is going to be quite happy. Karma can be one serious bitch. Go, Karma!

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Related articles:
Business 2.0’s 50 People Who Matter: Steve Jobs #5; Top 10 Who Don’t Matter: Microsoft’s Ballmer – June 26, 2006
Windows Live head leaves Microsoft less than 24 hours after launch – June 21, 2006
Bill Gates to transition out of a day-to-day role in Microsoft – June 15, 2006
What happens when you combine clips of Young Frankenstein and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer? – June 08, 2006
It must be getting really bad: Microsoft brings back the towels – May 19, 2006
Microsoft suffers from malaise, key defections, Windows Vista struggles, lack of towels – September 16, 2005
Chair hurling Microsoft CEO Ballmer: ‘I’m going to f—ing kill Google’ – September 03, 2005


  1. Harry,

    What happens when someone really uses both a Mac and Windows? They almost always prefer the Mac. Most people have been brainwashed into thinking they need Windows. When they find out that they really don’t, Microsoft is done. Why buy anything, but a Mac, since only Macs can run all apps?

    Watch and learn. Apple has won already – just relatively few know it, yet.

  2. “We can think of worse jobs than being a platform evangelist for Windows… strike that, no we can’t.”

    Sewer Worker? Toll Booth Attendant? Crime Scene Cleaner? Slaughterhouse supervisor? President? Biohazard Removal Technician? Chinese Factory Worker?

    Hmmm. Yep. You’re right!

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