Ex-Microsoft Exec Takes Over Google’s Communications Products

Posted on May 8, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google with 0 Comments

Remember Javier Soltero? He co-founded Accompli in 2013 and then came to Microsoft in 2014 when Microsoft purchased his firm for $200 million and renamed its mobile app to Outlook Mobile. Soltero ran Microsoft’s Outlook business until early 2018, when he was put in charge of the floundering Cortana business. But Cortana defeated Soltero as it had so many before him, and Soltero left Microsoft just 8 months later to pursue “entrepreneurial activities.”

Well, that didn’t last very long either: Google hired Soltero in October 2019 to run its G Suite business, and he’s been very public since then, aggressively pushing G Suite over Microsoft 365 and over-inflating G Suite’s usage numbers by conflating free Gmail accounts into the total.

Well, that didn’t last very long either: Now, Soltero is being pushed into Google’s version of Cortana, an unwinnable war in this case to consolidate Google’s communications solutions and make them more competitive. He lasted 8 months with Cortana. Can he beat that total with Google’s communications solutions?

“We are bringing all of Google’s collective communication products together under one leader and unified team that will be led by Javier Soltero, vice president and general manager of G Suite,” a Google statement explains. “Javier will remain in Cloud, but will also join the leadership team under Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president of Platforms and Ecosystems. Outside of this update, there are no other changes to the personnel and Hiroshi will continue to play a significant role in our ongoing partnership efforts.”

This quote seems to suggest that Soltero will retain his leadership role in G Suite, and that the communications solutions are being rolled into that business. G Suite already had two communications products, Google Meet and Google Chat, but now it’s getting three more, Messages, Duo, and Google Phone app for Android.

Will he be able to win Google’s Vietnam? We’re about to find out.

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