Mountain View, California -- Google has scooped up Microsoft's former Startup Whisperer, just two weeks after Redmond dumped him on the street. As you may remember that just 12 days ago in a most recent round of layoff, Don Dodge, the Microsoft startup evangelist, was given a pink slip as part of a broader workforce reduction. Last week he was seen in Silicon Valley to “see friends” according to him.
Until the first week of this month, when he was among the approximately 800 employees dismissed in Microsoft's latest round of layoffs, Don Dodge, was the director of business development for Redmond's emerging business team.
In his blog post announcing the move, Dodge sounds pretty mixed in his feelings about his former employer. A veteran of countless startups-including AltaVista, Napster, and Ray Ozzie's Groove Networks - he was a kind of über-evangelist to outside startups and developers.
He says “Microsoft is a different company, a better company, than when I joined 5 years ago,” but he also says it was “not cool” to layoff 5,000 workers despite lots of cash on-hand and sizable profits.
Dodge is very esteemed in the start-up community and tirelessly defended Microsoft's technologies at conferences and to developers during his time at the company. His departure was met with howls of complaint from the web's startup-obsessives, and just 90 minutes after the pink slip reached his palm, he received a phone call from Google vp of engineering Vic Gundotra, another former Microsoftee.
Referring to Gundotra's rapid-fire phone call, Dodge said: “That fast decisive action was refreshing, and such a contrast to the slow, secretive, bureaucracy at Microsoft. That speed and decisiveness also reflects different approaches to hiring great people, building great products and serving customers well.”
He has accepted a new job at Google, where it sounds like he will be occupying a role similar to his job at Microsoft--convincing startups and other developers to build using Google's technology and platforms.