Ex-Microsoftie Don Dodge Going to Google

It turns out that Don Dodge—famous among entrepreneurs for putting a personal face on Microsoft’s operations in New England, until his unceremonious termination earlier this month—was only in job limbo for about about an hour and a half. Dodge sends Xconomy word this morning that he has been hired by Microsoft archrival Google.

Vic Gundotra, Google’s vice president of engineering, was the first person to contact him with a job offer, “90 minutes after the news of the layoff hit” on November 4, Dodge says in a blog post about his move.

At Microsoft, Dodge was director of business development for the Emerging Business Team. In an e-mail, Dodge says he’ll have a similar role at Google: “My main job will be working with developers helping them build apps on Google technologies and platforms. Startups will always be my first love, so I will spend as much time as possible with developers at startups.”

Dodge says he will spend his “20 percent time”—the one day per week that Google employees are encouraged to spend on personal projects—working with Google Ventures, the venture funding wing led by Rich Miner from Google’s Cambridge office and Bill Maris from the company’s Mountain View, CA, headquarters. “There are some obvious synergies there,” Dodge writes.

Dodge’s job shift will ultimately take him away from Massachusetts. But he says he’ll be working from Google’s Cambridge office through the holidays, and that he will be “back in Boston so often people will think I still live here. It was the same after I left Silicon Valley…they think I still live there.”

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch broke the story about Dodge’s new job last night, and Dodge himself shared more details about it this morning.

In previous public statements about his departure from Microsoft, Dodge has been diplomatic to the point of saintliness. But in today’s post he takes the gloves partway off, writing that “laying off 5,000 people when you have $37B in cash and huge profits is not cool.”

He also takes a few jabs at Microsoft products—calling Microsoft’s Outlook e-mail management program “tired,” saying that his Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone “didn’t measure up,” and commenting that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser is too slow. At Google, naturally enough, Dodge will be using Gmail to manage his e-mail, getting an Android-powered mobile phone, and using the Google Chrome browser. And it’s probably safe to assume he won’t be doing many searches on Bing.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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