Microsoft is hiring a former Uber CEO to lead new consumer applications

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Microsoft is hiring former Uber Product Manager Manik Gupta to streamline Microsoft’s consumer applications. Gupta is responsible for Microsoft Teams customers, Skype and GroupMe, and reports directly to Jeff Teper, Microsoft’s Microsoft 365 Collaboration Manager.

Gupta spent four years in Uber leading various teams involved in the Uber app, and he also oversaw product management on Google Maps for seven years. Although Gupta has a lot of experience with maps, he is therefore not affiliated with Microsoft. The software giant looks eager to leverage its wealth of experience in consumer-centric applications.

“Manik’s experience … is invaluable to us in building a world-class consumer experience across Microsoft,” says Teper in an internal memo that Limit. It is clear from Teper’s memorandum that Microsoft has high goals to get consumers to use Teams and other opportunities to create consumer-focused communities or applications.

Microsoft has recently tried to acquire consumer-centric services such as Discord.
Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft has been trying to acquire popular communities recently, including TikTok, Pinterestand Disagreements. While all three services are very different, they all have a common community element that Microsoft lacks outside of the Xbox. Competitors like Google, Amazon, Facebook have acquired major consumer apps like YouTube, Twitch and Instagram, and Microsoft knows it needs something similar.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seems to focus on content producers and communities, as well as how to best leverage the cloud to get a consumer-centric application or community. “Creation, creation, creation – the next 10 years will be as much about creation as consumption and the surrounding community, so it won’t create alone,” Nadella said. Interview with Bloomberg earlier this year.

It’s a change that has been in Microsoft for years, after the company killed his Groove Music service, handed over on top of the mixer, officially stopped using Kinect, scrapped it Microsoft Band Fitness Deviceand finally admitted Windows Phone was dead. With the exception of the Xbox, Microsoft has had difficulties with consumers, and Microsoft has tried to change that during the last years.

Skype shares

The future of Skype looks great on Microsoft Teams.

In his current internal memo, Nadella makes it clear that Microsoft is once again focusing on consumer products. “I want us to pursue these new opportunities both ambitiously and clearly in a long-term product perspective. Building a new capability within our organization to promote consumer-quality product performance is key to our success. “

While Teper’s memorandum does not directly mention it, Gupta’s role means that he must resolve Teams ’delicate balance between consumers, Skype and GroupMe and whether or not Microsoft will combine these services into one. It seems more and more that Microsoft is focusing more on Teams than on Skype consumers, and it’s easy to forget that Microsoft still has GroupMe.

Windows 11, due to arrive in October, includes the integration of Microsoft Teams with Teper to describe it as “one of the most important milestones so we can delight users and grow our consumer business”. This type of Teams integration seems to be an early hint of where Microsoft intends to focus most of its consumer efforts in the future.

Here is the full internal memo from Jeff Teper, Microsoft 365 Director of Collaboration:

I am pleased to announce that we have hired Manik Guptan as Corporate Director of Teams Consumer, Skype and GroupMe. Manik reports directly to me assuming overall leadership in overall consumer strategy, vision and implementation. Manik’s experience in Uber as Product Manager, Google CEO of Google Maps, and his current role as an investor and advisor to early-stage fast-growing technology companies is invaluable to us as we build world-class consumer experiences around the world. all Microsoft. Manik will officially start on August 30 and will be located in the Bay Area.

Over the past few years, we’ve worked together across the enterprise to grow Microsoft Teams to more than a quarter of a billion users, and the release of Teams for Life in May will help us connect many more people into their personal lives. But we have a much greater opportunity ahead. I’m excited that Microsoft’s progress and investment in the consumer experience – Xbox, Microsoft 365, OneDrive, Edge, Bing and more – has increased. This fall, Windows 11 – Microsoft Teams – will be one of the most important milestones for us to delight users and grow our consumer business.

When Manik joins us to lead this, Rohit Wad will take responsibility for planning and report to Manik like Rohit’s prime minister reports. Rohit has been an excellent driver in the Teams for Life, Skype and GroupMe launches, and I am excited that he will take our experience and design to a new level. Manik, Rohit and the team work with the entire Teams organization and the rest of Microsoft to develop our consumer services and improve our products for everyone throughout their lives.

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