Ex-Microsoft executive Larson-Green joins data analysis startup

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(Bloomberg) -- Former Microsoft Corp. executive Julie Larson-Green is joining data-research startup Qualtrics as chief experience officer, overseeing product design and employee-related operations like hiring and engagement.

Qualtrics has raised $400 million from venture firms like Accel and Sequoia Capital, and was valued at $2.5 billion earlier this year. The 1,600-employee company, based in Provo, Utah, helps collect and analyze surveys and data from workers and customers. JetBlue Airways Corp. used it to figure out that travelers valued lower fares more than a free checked bag. Microsoft and General Electric Co. are also customers.

Larson-Green spent almost 25 years at Microsoft and was once the most senior woman in an engineering executive role at the software maker. She oversaw the complete overhaul of the design of both the Office and Windows flagship programs. She stepped down in October after being on medical leave since May.

Qualtrics, which competes with SurveyMonkey Inc., this year released a set of products called XM, or Experience Management, that tries to combine different types of survey data across a company to provide a holistic view.

“Today marketing does the brand research, sales does customer research, product does the user research – all these different silos,” Larson-Green said. The idea behind Qualtrics's new offerings is “to look across all those different constituencies and find common threads and gaps.”

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