Javier Soltero: innovation that never quits.

Author:Penhollow, Steve

JAVIER SOLTERO is one of Microsoft's biggest rising stars. After rapidly ascending through the giant tech ranks, he was promoted to Corporate Vice President, Office Product Group in November, where he now leads the overall strategy for Microsoft Outlook. A key player in CEO Satya Nadella's vision to continually innovate the brand, his philosophy of pushing boundaries and taking risks has positioned him as an agent of internal culture change. With a "No quitting, no whining" approach Javier is steadily leading Microsoft into the future.

How did you arrive to your current position at Microsoft?

Microsoft acquired Acompli, the company where I was CEO and Co-Founder of in 2014. Shortly after the acquisition, I was promoted to lead the Outlook product and most recently moved into a new role driving the overall strategy for the Office Product Group.

What was given to you in terms of advice or mentorship that pushed you to where you are today?

The best advice I ever got came from a poem called Cantares by Spanish poet Antonio Machado:

"Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar. Al anclar se hace camino y al volver la vista atras se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar".

In English:

"Wanderer, there is no road. The road is made by walking. One makes the road by walking, and when glancing behind one sees the path that will never be trod again".

I learned this quote from my late stepfather who was a successful Puerto Rican artist and entrepreneur. It's the best piece of advice I could ever hope to offer.. .keep walking, keep learning, don't dwell on the past.

Which is your main strategy to ensure success in your operations?

Define success, get the right people on board, get out of their way. Lather, rinse, and repeat

Which Microsoft innovations are you most excited about and what solutions do they provide?

Microsoft is working across such a broad range of products; it would be very difficult to pick just a few. That said, I find our innovation around mixed reality technologies (Microsoft's HoloLens technology for example) and our innovation in artificial intelligence incredible. One aspect of AI which is absolutely incredible to me is the advancements we've made in machine translation. As a bilingual person, I am amazed at the impact that allowing people from different parts of the world to communicate and collaborate in real time while speaking their native language can have in making the world better.

What steps do we need to take...

To continue reading