Hearsay Social Adds Two Veterans of Google, Microsoft to its Executive Team

By Devon Glenn 

Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih

Hearsay Social has added two enterprise experts from Google and Microsoft to its executive team, the company announced today. Michael Lock, a founding executive of Google Enterprise, will become the chief operating officer for the company. Mark Gilbert, a veteran employee of Microsoft, will serve as VP of product.

Luring executives away from established companies like Microsoft and Google “wasn’t easy,” said Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih, but both Gilbert and Lock had spent the better part of their careers building “the first generation of enterprise software and now they’re ready to build the next generation of enterprise software.”

During his eight years with Google, Lock was instrumental in turning the company’s enterprise arm into a $1 billion business with products like Gmail and Google Drive. Prior to that, he spent 15 years in technology sales and marketing for IBM, Oracle and other large technology companies. The Hearsay team met Lock through their investors at Sequoia Capital.

Gilbert served as head of product for a number of key business units at Microsoft including System Center, Visual Studio, and Bing. His accomplishments in the last 15 years have including driving technical and product strategy for Microsoft’s $17 billion server and tools business; and expanding Microsoft’s product presence in Europe and Asia. Gilbert had worked with Hearsay CTO Steve Garrity at Microsoft.

As large corporations move beyond Facebook contests and one-time campaigns toward building social media into the architecture of the company, said Shih, people will be at the center of the next generation of enterprise software. “What we’re seeing right now is an era of true, deep enterprise adoption,” she said. (Her best-selling book on the subject, The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Market, Sell and Innovate, is now used as a marketing textbook at Harvard Business School.)

Founded in 2009, Hearsay Social aims to build for its enterprise clients like Farmers Insurance Group and 24 Hour Fitness new social sales and marketing software that will be as reliable, secure, scalable, and compliant as other software solutions, for both internal and external communications. The company has raised a combined $21 million in funding from Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates.

“We’ve always seen this cycle of maturation in social media coming,” said Shih. And by landing two of the “most sought-after” industry leaders to take it to the next level, she added, “We couldn’t have asked for a better endorsement” of the company’s plans.