Photosynth Prophet Defects from Microsoft to Google
by Jen Graves
on Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 1:12 PM
I wrote a little about Blaise Aguera y Arcasin 2010; now, the New York Times reports he's moved to Googler pastures. This does not typically go over well in Redmond.
People leave Microsoft all the time but defections of prized personnel to Google are a sore spot for the company because of the intensity of the companies’ rivalry. Microsoft sued Google after Google hired Kai-Fu Lee, a Microsoft vice president at the time, to run its research facility in China. The companies settled the case in 2005.
In court filings related to that lawsuit involving Mr. Lee, a now much-recited anecdote emerged about Microsoft’s reaction to the defection of another Microsoft employee — Mark Lucovsky, a distinguished engineer — to Google in 2004. Mr. Lucovsky, in a declaration in the case, said that Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, threw a chair across the room when Mr. Lucovsky told him he was leaving for Google. Mr. Ballmer also disparaged Eric Schmidt, then Google’s chief executive, with a string of expletives, according to Mr. Lucovsky’s declaration.