Microsoft Office Product VP Leaves To Join Google’s Data Team

After nearly 20 years at Microsoft, Gail Giacobbe has joined Google’s data team as its new vice president of product management.

Gail Giacobbe, a longtime Microsoft executive who was vice president of the company’s Office Products Group, has jumped ship to cloud and AI rival Google.

“I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new position as Vice President of Product Management for the Core Data team at Google,” wrote Giacobbe in a LinkedIn post this month, which has received over 250 comments.

Giacobbe’s Microsoft career spans nearly two decades with most of her tenure inside Microsoft’s Office Division after first joining the software giant in 2000.

In her latest role as vice president of product for the Microsoft Office Products Group, she led a customer- and data-focused team of product managers, engineers, content creators, designers and data scientists, according to her LinkedIn profile.

[Related: Google Cloud Exec: Microsoft Licensing Tactics Create ‘Harmful’ Impacts]

Giacobbe was also a leader in Microsoft’s generative AI product portfolio, including the new GenAI design app Microsoft Designer, Microsoft Create, and other Office graphics platforms.

In addition, she was a member of the division’s Product Management Leadership Team, which was responsible for defining and evolving the practice of Microsoft’s product management strategy.

Google did not respond by press time for comment on her hiring.

Giacobbe left Microsoft in 2014 to join IT communication specialist Skype, followed by a three-year stint at GoDaddy as vice president of product and user experience. She rejoined Microsoft in early 2019.

Google Vs. Microsoft

Giacobbe’s jump from Microsoft to Google is interesting as the two tech giants are competing in various markets—from data and cloud database management to collaboration and cloud computing.

Microsoft’s Office and 365 portfolio competes directly against Google Workspace, for example. Google and Microsoft are also both heavily focused on leveraging data to drive AI and generative AI, which makes Giacobbe’s new data product management vice president position move even more interesting as she has in-depth knowledge of Microsoft.

Google and Microsoft are both pouring billions into AI, specifically GenAI.

Google and Microsoft have both launched new GenAI innovation around large language models (LLMs), search, AI chatbots for communications and collaboration, injecting AI capabilities inside their most popular products, and forming partnerships with AI superstars like OpenAI and Anthropic.

On the cloud front, Microsoft Azure is the No. 2 cloud computing company in the world, owning 24 percent share of the global cloud infrastructure services market.

Google Cloud ranks No. 3 in the global cloud market with 11 percent share, according to data from Synergy Research Group. Both Microsoft and Google trail AWS, which is the leader with 32 percent share of the global cloud market.

Overall, Microsoft generated $212 billion in total fiscal year 2023 revenue, while Google parent company Alphabet captured $307 billion in 2023.