According to The New York Times, another highly respected Microsoft engineer and software designer, Blaise Ag¼era y Arcas, has jumped to Google, and we are sure that Steve Ballmer is not happy – he hates losing important engineers, but he especially hates losing them to arch rival, Google. A story from a few years back when court papers in a case where Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Google when they hired Kai-Fu Lee away from Microsoft, Mark Lucrovsky (another engineer that left for Google) declared to the court that when he setup a meeting with Ballmer to tell him that he was leaving and this is what transpired:
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Prior to joining Google, I set up a meeting on or about November 11, 2004 with Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer to discuss my planned departure….At some point in the conversation Mr. Ballmer said: “Just tell me it’s not Google.” I told him it was Google.
At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office. Mr. Ballmer then said: “F**king Eric Schmidt is a f**king pussy. I’m going to f**king bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to f**king kill Google.” ….
Thereafter, Mr. Ballmer resumed trying to persuade me to stay….Among other things, Mr. Ballmer told me that “Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.”
So you can see that Ballmer does not take too kindly to Microsoft engineers jumping over to Google – “**s” put in by me!
Blaise Ag¼era y Arcas was an important figure in Microsoft’s Bing Map services, but was involved in a variety of projects at Microsoft that included wearable technologies, natural user interfaces, and augmented reality – one of his most recent projects was creating a new version of Photosynth which involved creating 3D panoramas. Several people with knowledge of his plans said that Mr. Ag¼era y Arcas will be working on machine learning at Google, but in a phone call, he would only confirm that he was going to join Google.
Nick Wingfield at the New York Times just broke the news that I’m going to Google. On one hand, of course this is tremendously exciting; Google is a company of grand ambitions and brilliant people. On the other hand it has been hardâ€” very hardâ€” to detach emotionally from Microsoft. The company’s leadership has been consistently good to me over these past eight years, and it has been a time filled with creativity and growth and good friends. It’s painful to leave behind so many wonderful ongoing projects, and even more so to leave behind such a great team. The hardest decision of my life.
This great addition to Google can only mean more great talent and ideas will be available in Google’s arsenal – In 2011 he was named a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft. Let us know on our Google+ page if you think it is okay for companies to lure away employees from other companies – it happens all of the time – do you agree with the practice?