Mike Koss spent nearly two decades at Microsoft, playing a key role in the early development of products including Excel, Outlook and SharePoint. For the past decade, he has been working in the startup world as an investor, entrepreneur and the “launch director” of the StartPad co-working space in downtown Seattle.
And now, at 53 years old, he’s going back to a big tech company — starting a new gig later this month as a software engineer at Google.
It’s a notable move in part because Koss, despite his veteran status, isn’t going to Google as a manager. During the recruiting and interview process with the company, he made it clear that he wanted to be an individual contributor. He explained via phone this week that he has found he’s happiest in that type of role.
“It’s going to be a great fit for me,” he said.
He will be working on the Google Chrome team at Google Kirkland, after going through the traditional “Noogler” orientation.
StartPad will be winding down operations, with one large remaining tenant taking over the space.
Koss is no stranger to Google, as organizer of the Seattle Google Developers Group, and he has made a point of keeping up-to-date on developer tools and languages. His experience as an entrepreneur and investor has ranged from social bookmarking (with the now-shuttered Faves.com) to a variety of Bitcoin-related projects.