Google Docs pioneer Sam Schillace joins Box as VP of Engineering

Today, I found myself privy to the first meeting between Box’s CEO, Aaron Levie, and his new vice president of engineering, Sam Schillace.

The pair have known each other for years and both saw early potential in cloud computing technology, but Schillace is no easy target for any startup. Until this week, he was the entrepreneur-in-residence and Principal at Google Ventures. “It has been a seven-and-a-half year recruiting project,” Levie half-joked.

Above: Sam Schillace, Box’s new VP of engineering

This announcement follows a spate of recent announcements for Box, a Silicon Valley-based cloud storage startup. In the past month, the company pulled in $125 million in funding, and opened its first international office in London. This week, the company also brought on Evan Wittenberg as its new VP of People (startup speak for vice president of Human Resources).

It will be an intriguing partnership. Levie told me he first reached out to Schillace in 2005 to discuss a potential integration with Box (then “Box.net”). It didn’t work out, as Schillace was already in acquisition talks with Google. Schillace’s startup, Writely, was the first co-editing service, and provided the foundation for Google Docs.

“It has been a decade-long progress moving from desktop to cloud,” Schillace told me, when asked about his reasons for joining Box now, given that he has been a technical advisor to the company for the past two years. “We are just seeing the knee of the curve.” He said he would dedicate his energies to improving collaboration within Box’s core product.

Schillace will continue to serve as an advisor for Google Ventures and its portfolio companies.

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