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Microsoft Recruits Former Uber Product Head To Boost Consumer Apps Business

Manik Gupta will serve as Microsoft's new corporate vice president for Teams Consumer, Skype and GroupMe.

Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq: MSFT ) has hired Manik Gupta, the former chief product officer at Uber Technologies, as part of a renewed effort to boost its consumer app business. 

On Tuesday, the software giant announced that Gupta will serve as its new corporate vice president for Teams Consumer, Skype and GroupMe, reporting directly to Jeff Teper, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 Collaboration.  
Gupta’s professional background includes four years at Uber, running the various teams that operate the company’s ride-share app. Prior to that, he spent seven years at Google, where he oversaw product management for Google Maps.

At Microsoft, Manik — who also has experience as an investor and startup advisor — will oversee the company’s “end-to-end consumer strategy, vision and execution,” Teper said in an internal memo. Manik’s experience, Teper said, “will be invaluable to us building world-class consumer experiences across all of Microsoft.”

According to The Verge, Gupta will begin on Aug. 30 and be based in the San Francisco area.

In a statement, Manik said, “I see a great opportunity in Teams to build upon Microsoft’s mission ‘to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,’ help people better manage their daily lives and connect and collaborate more deeply with friends, family and colleagues.”

“I’ve defined my career by building foundational consumer products from the ground up and am excited to dive in,” Manik added.

Since becoming chief executive officer of Microsoft in 2014, Satya Nadella has been focused on bulking up the company's consumer technologies offerings. 

As companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook enjoyed success by acquiring big consumer apps like YouTube, Twitch and Instagram, Microsoft has tried to follow a similar route.

In 2016, Microsoft acquired professional networking website LinkedIn for $26.2 billion and has been looking to buy additional mass social media platforms.

Within the past year, it attempted to acquire a few popular communities, including TikTok, Pinterest and Discord.

Microsoft Teams, the company’s collaboration software launched in 2017, has grown significantly during the pandemic-related shift to remote work, achieving 250 million monthly active users by July 2021.

Nadella told Bloomberg News earlier this year that he believes the next decade “is going to be as much about creation as it is about consumption and about the community around it.” 

In a memo to employees on Tuesday, Nadella reiterated that the focus should be on consumer products.

“I want us to go after these new opportunities with both ambition and clarity of long-term product vision. Building new capability inside our organization to drive ‘consumer-grade’ product ethos will be key to our success,” he said. 


Source: Equities News

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