Google, Microsoft Execs Jump to Social-Media Manager Hearsay

As more companies and their employees use social-media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to communicate with customers, they’re increasingly relying on special “social-media management” software to help them track the interactions.

Creating such software is becoming a big business in its own right, so it comes as little surprise that veteran Web executives are joining the fray.

On Tuesday, Hearsay Social, one of the best-known social-media management-software startups, said it had hired longtime Google sales executive Michael Lock to be its chief operating officer.

Over the past eight years, Lock helped turn Google’s software for businesses, called Google Apps, into a $1 billion-a-year business.

Lock said he wanted to help businesses utilize social media “in a much different and more product way,” and that at Google, he was only able to do so with one social site–Google+. “Customers want to leverage all existing social networking platforms,” he said.

The 50-year-old Lock, who previously worked at companies including IBM and Oracle, joins Mark Gilbert, who was hired as Hearsay’s vice president of product last fall after 13 years at Microsoft.

Hearsay’s CEO and co-founder Clara Shih (pictured) – author of “The Facebook Era”, a book on how businesses could use social networks – previously worked at Google and Microsoft, while Hearsay co-founder Steve Garrity also worked at Microsoft.

Social-media management software helps big businesses – from insurers to financial-services firms – to manage thousands of social-media Web pages belonging to their local branches or employees, who are trying to attract new customers or talk to existing customers. Such software can help companies ensure their salesforce or other employees don’t post inappropriate messages or run afoul of regulatory compliance, provides them with ideas for messages they can post, and lets them buy advertisements on the sites, among other things.

Last year, Web and software giants Google, Salesforce and Oracle collectively paid more than $1.2 billion to acquire three social-media management-software startups – Wildfire Interactive, Buddy Media and Vitrue. Oracle bought two other similar startups.

Clients of Hearsay, which has 100 employees and has raised $21 million in funding, include insurer Allstate, investment bank Goldman Sachs, and gym company 24 Hour Fitness. Hearsay, which is based in San Francisco and was founded in 2009, declined to reveal revenue figures and said it charges clients $50 per user per month, with discounts for large customers.


About Us

A small but energetic team working for brings the latest and most interesting news and updates to the public. We collect info about social networks and media activities and remark the newest movements in socnet field.

Info site links

Contact Us

  • Email: hayk.tonoyan at