Tech Moves

Microsoft hires Google and Fb product vet, constructing out ‘Groups for Life’ shopper group

Amit Fulay.

Microsoft made another key hire for a new consumer technology group on Wedneday, adding former Facebook and Google product leader Amit Fulay as vice president of product.

Fulay will work on the initiative known internally as “Teams for Life,” or TfL, seeking to further expand the reach of the company’s platform for workplace communications and collaboration into the consumer market.

Based in the Seattle area, he will report to Manik Gupta, the former Uber chief product officer, who recently joined Microsoft as a corporate vice president leading its Teams Consumer, Skype, and GroupMe.

In an internal memo announcing the hire, Gupta said Fulay’s experience building communications and social products at Google and Facebook “will be invaluable for us to build a world-class TfL product and turbocharge our consumer-oriented thinking across all of Microsoft.”

A job posting from May 28, for a senior program manager on the Teams for Life group, sheds additional light on Microsoft’s plans, indicating that the goal is to “revolutionize the way friends and families communicate and collaborate.”

An excerpt from the job post:

Our team is responsible for creating the NEW consumer offering of Microsoft Teams. We’ll do this by extending the power of Teams beyond work scenarios to your personal life. Whether you’re a busy parent managing daily family life or just trying to stay connected and in sync with those who matter most, the Teams consumer offering will alleviate the need for disparate tools and instead offer one central hub for individuals, groups, and families to collaborate and stay connected and organized.

Fulay started his career at Microsoft in 2007, straight out of college, and he said in the internal memo that the new role “feels like a homecoming of sorts.”

“I have admired the cultural transformation that Microsoft has gone through in the past few years, and I believe that Teams has great potential to change how people connect and communicate,” Fulay said in the internal memo.

Fulay and Gupta worked together previously at Google, where Fulay led the real-time communications team and co-founded Google Hangouts, Duo and Allo. Most recently, Fulay led the product team for the Facebook News Feed.

Microsoft Teams, the collaboration software that launched in 2017, has grown significantly during the pandemic. It now has 250 million monthly active users, up from 145 million in April, primarily in business and work settings. The company last year started releasing new Teams features designed for families. 

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