Javier Soltero, currently the head of Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana, is departing the tech titan at the end of the year amid a round of reorganization to the Microsoft Office business.
The news was first reported by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley and confirmed to Business Insider at the company. Soltero did not immediately announce his next move, but he told Business Insider he plans on "getting back to building new things."
Soltero was something of a rising star. Hij begon bij Microsoft in het begin van 2014, na de overname van Acompli, een startup die hij had cofounded. In een kwestie van weken was Acompli's e-mail app rebranded naar Outlook voor iPhone en Android ̵
Outlook was, and is, a popular smartphone email client, especially among corporate users. As the app gained traction, so did Soltero's influence. Hij was snel in staat om Outlook voor alle platforms te vinden, en dan, het leidende beleid voor alle Microsoft Office.
Soltero has a reputation at Microsoft for speaking truth to corporate power. In 2015, hij heeft een zoberende presentatie geleverd die waarschuwt dat werknemers zonder snelle actie om Microsoft Office en Outlook te moderniseren, het bedrijf zich kunnen vinden als irrelevant als de concurrenten die het lang geleden had gewonnen. He told the Wall Street Journal that this presentation actually earned him hate mail from employees, who accused him of being disrespectful to the company's legacy.
Read more: In March of this year, Soltero took command of Cortana, Microsoft's rival to Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, and the Google Assistant. He was given a mandate to find a niche for Cortana, which comes built into Windows 10, but has struggled to gain traction on smartphones and elsewhere.
Soltero's departure comes as Microsoft continues an ongoing streamlining of the Cortana business.
The general idea, as ZDNet's Foley notes, is that Microsoft is trying to reposition Cortana as a general helper within Office – sort of a smarter, more capable successor to its infamous Clippy. To that end, Microsoft is bringing Cortana closer to the office business, putting it under the general umbrella of Microsoft Executive VP Rajesh Jha.