Cloud

Surprise: Former Microsoft exec Sinofsky named adviser to cloud hotshot Box

Above: Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky

Image Credit: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat

It wasn’t too long ago that charismatic Box CEO Aaron Levie would mercilessly make fun of Microsoft. Now he’s getting closer to the company than ever before.

Box announced today that former Microsoft executive and Windows head Steven Sinofsky has joined the company as an “adviser.” Sinofsky is one of a handful of people responsible for helping making Microsoft and Windows what they are today, but he left the company back in November in a shakeup.

Sinofsky has been keeping busy since he left, and not too long after the departure, he took on the role of entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School. And just last week, he joined top VC firm Andreessen Horowitz as a “board partner.”

Now he will take on yet another role as an adviser to Andreessen Horowitz-backed Box, which helps companies of all sizes with cloud storage and collaboration.


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Rather than help Box find ways to better compete with Microsoft, Levie insists Sinofsky’s role will be to help to advise on the direction of Box’s product strategy and platform.

“If anything, we’d love to get closer to Microsoft,” Levie told Geekwire.

Levie also said he did not try to hire Sinofsky outright for a job but he has left the door open for that possibility down the road. (Of course, an executive role at Box might beneath the once heir apparent to the much larger Microsoft.)

“He was very clear, and it was very obvious, that he was at a stage where he wanted to get involved in a number of different things,” Levie told Geekwire. “So, no. We did not pop the question. But if he’s out there and listening, I would love to talk about it.”

Want to get more insight into what’s happening with Box and the current cloud landscape? Then you should come to CloudBeat 2013, which is happening Sept. 9-10 in San Francisco. We’ll have three executives from Box at the event, including SVP of Engineering Sam Schillace, Director of Business Development Uday Keshavdas, and SVP & General Manager for Enterprise Whitney Bouck.