Javier Soltero, currently head of Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana, resigns at the end of the year's technology talent during a reorganization round to Microsoft Office.
The news was first reported by ZDNets Mary Jo Foley and confirmed to Business Insider by the company. Soltero did not immediately announce his next move, but he told Business Insider he plans to "get back to building new things."
Soltero was one of a rising star. He started at Microsoft in early 2014, following Acompli acquisition, a startup he had cofounded. In a matter of weeks, Acompli's e-mail program had been rebranded to Outlook for iPhone and Android ̵
Outlook was, and is, a popular smartphone email client, especially among business users. As the app got traction, Soltero made its influence. He soon found leading Outlook across all platforms, and then leading strategy for all Microsoft Office.
Soltero has a reputation with Microsoft to speak true to corporate power. In 2015, he delivered an innovative presentation, warning the employees that without the rapid measures to modernize Microsoft Office and Outlook, the company could find itself as irrelevant as its competitors had long survived. He told the Wall Street Journal that this presentation actually earned him hates mail from employees who accused him of being "disrespectful" for the company's heritage. Read more: A rising star at Microsoft says that employees sent him hate speech to suggest that the company may fall behind
In March this year, Soltero took over the command of Cortana, Microsoft's rival to Amazon's Alexa , Apple Siri and Google Assistant. He was given a mandate to find a niche for Cortana, who enters Windows 10, but has struggled to get traction on smartphones and elsewhere.
Soltero's departure comes as Microsoft continues the ongoing efficiency of the Cortana business.
The general idea, like ZDN's Foley notes, is that Microsoft tries to relocate Cortana as a general assistant in Office – as a smarter and more capable of following the infamous Clippy. To this end, Microsoft Cortana brings closer to the Office business and puts it under the overall umbrella of Microsoft Executive VP Rajesh Jha.