The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on January 8, 2013

Hearsay Social hires former Microsoft and Google execs in bid to dominate social for enterprise

Hearsay Social hires former Microsoft and Google execs in bid to dominate social for enterprise
Ken Yeung
Story by

Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.

Social media management software provider Hearsay Social has hired two former executives at two of the tech industry’s top companies. Announced today, Michael Lock, the founding executive of Google Enterprise, and Mark Gilbert, a product veteran at Microsoft, have signed on to help “bring social sales and marketing to the enterprise.”

Social media management for the enterprise

The creator of a social sales and market platform, Hearsay Social was co-founded by former Microsoft’er Steve Garrity and Clara Shih, who spent part of her career working at, before penning a book called “The Facebook Era”. It specializes in technology to help companies become “regulatory compliant, build stronger customer relationships, and bolster brands across all the major social networks.” Users are be able to engage with communities across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Foursquare.

In its third year of existence, Hearsay Social has grown considerably. Besides the fact that it raised $21 million in series funding from Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates, the company stands at more than 100 employees and has spread itself around the world helping businesses, with presences in Silicon Valley, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, London, and Paris.

Experienced executives

Developing a product for the enterprise is not an easy thing to do, compared to something for a consumer. The company says that both Lock and Gilbert are being brought in to lend their expertise and experience to “execute on Hearsay Social’s one-of-a-kind vision to power every business-to-consumer relationship on social media.” By bringing Lock and Gilbert on board, the company gets two individuals with experience specifically working with big companies.

And it’s not as if Hearsay Social isn’t already working with them. It’s customer roster shows that that it is working with Farmers Insurance Group, Northwestern Mutual, 24 Hour Fitness, Pacific Union International, Westfield, AXA Equitable, Primerica, and others. However, it is playing in a congested market with competitors like Salesforce’s Buddy Media, Hootsuite, Involver, Oracle’s Vitrue, Google’s Wildfire Interactive, and others also working on bringing in enterprise customers, some of which have rapidly come close to dominating the market, Hearsay definitely has its work cut out for them.

With Lock, he brings more than 25 years of experience in technology sales and marketing, of which 15 years was within large organizations like IBM and Oracle. He is probably more recently well-known for spending eight years at Google building out its enterprise arm into a $1 billion business with products that many might consider to be industry-standard, such as Gmail and Google Drive.

Gilbert also shares a similar big company background. He has also spent years in the enterprise as the head of product for various business units at Microsoft, including System Center, Visual Studio, and Bing. The company said he helped drive the technical and product strategy for Microsoft’s $17 billion server and tool business and built out the software giant’s product presence in Europe and Asia.

So now Hearsay Social has a sales executive and product lead. The hope is that the two will be able to leverage their skills to find a way to get businesses interested in using social media in their sales and marketing arsenal. The company says that it’s focused on developing new technology that drives “top line revenue growth” and wants to help enterprises exploit what it calls the “most powerful form of communication”: social media.

It will be fascinating to see what Lock and Gilbert can do to jumpstart the company into overdrive to help it take on the more established services.

Photo credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Also tagged with