Microsoft's product manager for Cortana Javier Soltero leaves the company,
"We are grateful for Javier's influence and strategic leadership over the past four years in Microsoft, and wish him good luck when he returns to his founding roots. To gather all our work in natural language, intelligence and assistance – including Cortana – enables us to innovate faster for developers, partners and customers, "said a statement shared with VentureBeat today.
Sources familiar with the matter initially shared the news with ZDNet.
1 / Some news at work …
I have made the decision to leave Microsoft. The last 4 years has been an amazing experience. I am humble for having helped build something that 100M + users rely on every day and grateful to have worked with some amazing people.
– Javier Soltero 🇵🇷 (@jsoltero) November 6, 2018
] Soltero was named Product Manager for Cortana in March, and just began to roll out a vision of an assistant who could handle the needs of users in environments outside of Windows 10 PCs like smart speakers, devices and cars. Amazon-Microsoft's partnership for talking to Alexa in Windows 10 PCs and Cortana in Echo speakers was released in public preview in August.
In an interview with VentureBeat earlier this year, Soltero said he wanted Cortana to be a more multimodal and personal assistant who continually improves to help people get more out of their time.
Prior to being named Product Manager for Cortana, Soltero became a Microsoft member in 2014 as part of the acquisition of the e-mail company Accompli. He redesigned the Office mobile app before he was called product management for the Microsoft Office group.
Soltero's departure appears to be part of a move from the Cortana team from Microsoft AI + Research Group to Microsoft's experiences and units by Rajesh Jha.
Shakeup follows the departure of Windows boss Terry Myerson earlier this year, when Microsoft gets more of its focus on AI and the cloud.
History headline and text updated at 15:45 to reflect the fact that VentureBeat received confirmation that Soltero leaves Microsoft and includes a statement from Microsoft and a tweet of Soltero.