Former Microsoft Technical Fellow Lands at Splunk

Brad Lovering, a former technical fellow at Microsoft has landed at Splunk. Meanwhile another former Microsoftee, Frank Artale, joins Ignition Ventures.

Brad Lovering, a former Microsoft Technical Fellow, will launch a new Seattle office for Splunk.

Lovering, who left Microsoft in October 2010, will open the new Splunk office on Feb. 8 to focus on research and development for the San Francisco-based operational intelligence software maker, according to a report initially in the All About Microsoft blog.

According to the Splunk Website, "Splunk is the data engine for IT. It collects, indexes and harnesses the fast moving IT data generated by all your IT systems and infrastructure - physical, virtual and in the cloud. Use Splunk and your IT data to deliver new levels of visibility and intelligence for IT and the business."

As vice president of development platform at Splunk, Lovering will help strategize and deliver new components of the Splunk architecture, as well as to help establish a developer ecosystem for the technology. He spent 24 years at Microsoft and is listed among eWEEK's list of prominent departures from the software giant in recent years.

Lovering joined Microsoft straight out of the University of Washington in 1988 and started in the customer service department. He became a Microsoft Technical Fellow and later helped lead the charge toward Microsoft's "Oslo" modeling framework, and worked on BizTalk Server and Active Directory. He also worked on other developer-focused products, ranging from Visual Basic, to Visual J++, to Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework, to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), as well as on Microsoft's Web Services standards.

As a technical fellow at Microsoft Lovering was viewed as one of the technical leaders of the company - a distinction handed to fewer than two dozen of the company's top technologists. According to Microsoft:

"The special designation of 'Technical Fellow' is an acknowledgement of the key role a technical leader plays in driving intentional innovation, in alignment with Microsoft's business strategies, which in turn impacts the high-tech industry overall. A Technical Fellow's technical vision, expertise and world-class leadership is commensurate with that of a corporate vice president focused on business leadership. These individuals are instrumental in developing and driving technical strategies for Microsoft and the technology industry."

The explosion of data and what to do with it apparently helped spark Lovering's decision to go to Splunk. According to All About Microsoft, Lovering said, "There's a complete revolution in data management happening, and it is great to have found a place I can work on all that."

Lovering landed at Splunk through contacts at Ignition Partners, a Bellevue, Wash.-based venture capital firm that features several former Microsoft executives.

In related news, another former Microsoft employee, Frank Artale, joined Ignition Venture Management. Artale also brings 24 years of experience in the software business to his new job. Artale spent nine years at Microsoft, where he held various positions including General Manager for systems management during the Windows 2000 project and Director of Program Management for Windows NT 4.0.

Artale has been an entrepreneur and executive in several Ignition portfolio companies including CEO of Consera (sold to HP) as well as vice president of business development and strategic marketing at XenSource (acquired by Citrix Systems). Artale has also worked alongside Ignition as Chairman of the Board and director of Rendition Networks (sold to Opsware) and as an advisor to Zenprise. Artale was most recently group vice president of business development at Citrix Systems and a member of the venture development team at Accel Partners in Palo Alto, California. While at Accel, he became an advisor to such companies as Cloudera, an open source data platform, Membase, a NoSQL solutions provider, and Centrify Software. Artale also held senior product management and sales roles at VERITAS Software and Microsoft before becoming an entrepreneur and start up executive.