AI-fueled marketing startup Amperity is bringing in a big name with its latest hire.
The Seattle-based company announced Tuesday that longtime Microsoft product development leader Chris Jones has left the Redmond tech giant and joined Amperity as its senior vice president of product, taking his experience in tech and artificial intelligence in a new direction. In the role, Jones will lead product strategy and development for Amperity, whose marketing platform uses artificial intelligence to help brands consolidate disparate customer data. Amperity’s technology is used by Microsoft and some of its clients.
“Adding Chris to the team is a major win for Amperity and for the brands we serve,” Amperity CEO and Co-Founder Kabir Shahani said in a statement. “Chris has made significant contributions to some of the most defining software products of our generation, and will leverage these experiences to help us scale and accelerate our value in the marketplace… With Chris onboard, we are positioned to continue to be the enabling technology that allows brands to fundamentally and holistically reinvent their relationships with customers.”
It’s hard to overstate Jones’ impact on Microsoft products during his 25-plus year career at the company. He joined Microsoft in 1991 to work on Microsoft Publisher before becoming technical assistant to then-Microsoft platform chief Paul Maritz. Jones went on to lead product development for key Microsoft products like Internet Explorer, Outlook.com, OneDrive and Publisher. He also led development for the immensely successful operating system Windows XP and the less successful Windows Vista.
For the past two-plus years, he has co-led Microsoft’s fledgling healthcare initiative, Healthcare NExT, which is applying artificial intelligence technology to healthcare challenges. He also recently joined the board of directors for media streaming company RealNetworks.
Most recently at Microsoft, Jones reported to Peter Lee, the corporate vice president for AI + Research, and the lead for Healthcare NExT. “We’re very happy he’s found a great position at Amperity,” a spokesperson for Microsoft said in response to an inquiry from GeekWire. There’s no word yet on a potential replacement for Jones in that Microsoft role.
Jones’ exit follows a major companywide engineering reorganization announced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in March.
The announcement is one in a series of interesting moves by Amperity, which just publicly launched in September. It announced a close partnership with Microsoft as part of its launch. Within a month, the company raised a $28 million round of funding and added former Tableau sales chief Kelly Wright to its board of directors.
Its leadership is filled with notable tech names, including co-founders Shahani and Derek Slager, who most recently sold their healthcare marketing startup Appature to IMS Health in 2013.
“What attracted me to Amperity was the world-class talent and the bold ambition of their product,” Jones said in a statement. “The biggest global brands have a unique opportunity to bring together their first-party customer data, and deliver personalization and intelligence that delivers a better experience for their customers across the board.”
“Amperity is leading the way with a purpose-built CDP that works, powered by cutting-edge machine learning. In a few short months from public availability, Amperity has already demonstrated tremendous results and measurable business value for our clients and their customers. I am thrilled at the opportunity to take Amperity’s platform to the next level,” he said.