Ex-Microsoft Engineering Executive Larson-Green to Handle Product Design in Data-Analysis Startup Qualtrics

Ex-Microsoft Engineering Executive Larson-Green to Handle Product Design in Data-Analysis Startup Qualtrics

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A former executive of Microsoft Corp. Julie Larson-Green is joining data-research startup Qualtrics, taking the role of chief experience officer. She will be in charge of product design and employee matters such as hiring and engagement.

This year alone, the data research company has been able to raise a total of $400 million, with companies such as Accel and Sequoia Capital investing in its latest round of funding. The company is now valued at roughly $2.5 billion. The company is based in Provo, Utah and has around 1,600 employees.

Qualtrics helps to collect and analyze surveys and data from workers and customers. Their services have been used by companies like JetBlue Airways Corp who used it to conclude that travellers prefer lower flight fees than a free checked bag. Their customer list also includes Microsoft and General Electric Co.

Larson-Green worked at Microsoft for almost 25 years and at one point was the most senior woman holding an engineering executive role at the company. She was in charge of completing redesigning both the Office and Windows flagship programs. Green left her role back in October after being on medical leave since May.

Qualtrics has competition in the field, with their biggest rivals being SurveyMonkey Inc. Earlier this year, the company launched a set of products that it called XM or Experience Management. This software tries to combine different survey data within a company to provide the management with a holistic view of the company.

Larson-Green in her welcoming statement said that “Today marketing does the brand research, sales do customer research, the product does the user research – all these different silos.” She further added that the idea behind the new offerings by Qualtrics is “to look across all those different constituencies and find common threads and gaps.”

Microsoft, on the other hand, has taken the lead in the race to commercialize quantum computers after they revealed over the weekend that it is taking a new and different approach that will ensure its technology is less prone to error and better suited for commercial work. Their only struggle though is trying to build its first quantum computer.

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