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Microsoft Hires Former Everbridge, Publicis Sapient Exec For AI, Design Role

Wade Tyler Millward

John Maeda now holds the title of vice president of design and artificial intelligence at Microsoft.

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Microsoft has hired influential technologist and former Everbridge Chief Technology Officer John Maeda as its new vice president of design and artificial intelligence, according to his LinkedIn account.

His LinkedIn post announcing his move to Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft garnered more than 110 comments and more than 840 reactions.

Commenters included Jason Wild, Microsoft vice president and CEO of co-innovation and customer engagement; FreshForm President and CEO Scott Robinson; WordPress VIP CEO Nick Gernert and SmartAsset Chief Marketing Officer Chris Taylor.

[RELATED: Microsoft Recruits Top Twitter, Google Engineer For Security Role]

CRN has reached out to Maeda, Microsoft and Everbridge for comment.

In his post, Maeda wrote that he tried to get an internship at Microsoft as a teenager in the Seattle area, but he “failed at operator precedence rules in C.”

“I told the interviewer that I could type fast enough to elicit the correct combination (I could never do this well in one-shot and always did it iteratively) so it wasn’t a big deal,” he wrote. “Of course he didn’t believe me ;-). And back then there wasn’t the word ‘dyslexia’ to more properly explain my brain’s propensity for reversing sequences of objects.”

Maeda most recently worked as CTO of Everbridge, according to his LinkedIn account. Everbridge is a Boston-based publicly traded provider of critical event management (CEM) software and has a partner program for channel partners, services partners and other vendors, according to the company.

In this role, Maeda led “Everbridge’s technology and product vision for enabling RESILIENCE at the company, city, and country levels” with a focus on “large language models (AI/ML), outcomes-driven approaches to visualization, and the Japanese craft of kintsugi (金継ぎ) as applied to digital products/services,” according to his LinkedIn.

Maeda was hired by Everbridge in 2020 with the title of chief customer experience officer, according to a statement from the time.

Maeda was previously one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” according to the Everbridge statement. Wired magazine once compared Maeda’s role in design to Warren Buffett’s in finance.

The exact reason for Maeda’s separation from Everbridge was unclear. In July, Everbridge hired a new CEO, David Wagner, formerly CEO of Zix.

In November, the company reported revenue of $111.4 million for the third quarter of its fiscal year – a quarter that ended Sept. 30. That revenue was a 15 percent increase year over year. The company saw an operating loss of $19.2 million, about the same from a year prior. And Everbridge saw a net loss of $22.1 million for the period, about 20 percent less than the net loss posted in the same period a year prior.

The company also announced that 200 roles would be eliminated before the end of the year.

Maeda previously worked at technology services provider Publicis Sapient for about a year, leaving the company in 2020 as executive vice president and chief experience officer, according to his LinkedIn account.

While at Publicis Sapient, Maeda “co-developed the LEAD (Light, Ethical, Accessible, Dataful) system to reshape the global experience capability to be ‘A.I. Ready’ — together with an incredible leadership team at all levels,” according to his LinkedIn account.

His resume includes about three years with WordPress parent company Automattic. He left the company in 2019 with the title of head of computational design and inclusion, according to his LinkedIn account.

For five-plus years, Maeda served as the 16th president and CEO of the Rhode Island School of Design, according to his LinkedIn.

“Working with my executive team we raised the profile of RISD to #1 status by significantly increasing scholarship funding, broadening students‘ access to digital technologies and careers, bringing in a new generation of junior faculty, and advancing the STEM to STEAM movement in the US Congress,” he wrote on LinkedIn.

Maeda worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a professor before joining RISD. He is also an author, publishing “The Laws of Simplicity,” “Redesigning Leadership” and “Design By Numbers.”

Maeda’s career has included advisory roles with Google and eBay, a guest artist role at Reebok and time as a design partner at Kleiner Perkins, according to his LinkedIn account.

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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