Dick Hardt joins Microsoft

Vancouver’s Dick Hardt has announced on his Identity 2.0 blog that he is joining Microsoft as a Partner Architect tasked with working on consumer, enterprise and government identity problems. Hardt’s open source, open web and digital community experience will be an huge asset in an atmosphere with unlimited resources. Here’s a couple of the questions on his relocation that he’s answered for inquiring minds on his site.

Q: You’re joining the Borg! Have you sold out?

A: Well, I don’t think I have sold out. I was recruited to Microsoft because I am an independant thinker. I have worked with open source and internet technologies for 15 years — and at ActiveState, bridged the gap between them and Microsoft. There are many people I respect in the identity space that are working at Microsoft, and that are doing “the right thing”.  I will be joining my foo camp friends Jon Udell, Dana Boyd and of course Ray Ozzie.

Q: But you are an enterpreneur, why go to a big company?

A: I’m am very much an entrepreneur and am pretty risk oblivious — the financial security of a job is not a driver for me, even in the current financial environment — in fact the lower beta and reduction in potential upside is a negative factor. I have been an entrepreneur for a long time. Been there, done that. Lots a failures. A few successes.  I view the opportunity to come in at a senior level and learn how big enterprise and big software works a great learning experience. I’m also excited about changes that are afoot at Microsoft such as Azure and to work beside a bunch of really smart people!

Q: Is Microsoft buying Sxipper / Sxip Identity?

A: No. Microsoft is hiring Dick Hardt.

Q: What’s happening to Sxipper?

A: I will continue on as Chair of Sxipper, Inc. We have a small, dedicated team that will continue to advance the technology and start to find revenue sources so that it can be self sufficient in 2009.

Q: What happened to Sxip Identity?

A: A year ago we were in the midst of numerous discussions for the company to be acquired. Unfortunately those did not transpire and we sold off the Sxip Access product line to Ping and some new SSO technology to TriCipher. A few of our investors were unhappy we did not have a successful exit, and launched a lawsuit which crippled the company. The Sxipper product was sold to Sxipper, Inc. where it has thrived, and Sxip Identity is being wound up.

Q: Will you be moving to Redmond?

A: Yes. And yes, my fiance will be joining me. If you are interested in the more personal aspects of the move, check out my Blame Canada post.

While Hardt kept his announcement pretty professional on his Identity 2.0 blog, he made it very clear on his personal Blame Canada blog that one thing he won’t miss with this move is “unsophisticated investors”.

Unsophisticated investors: I have had a few unsophisticated investors that have been painful. I had four in Sxip that have been making my life miserable for the last 10 months. Sure, people have differences of opinion — but refusing to meet to work things out is so unprofessional.

For those readers unfamiliar with what Hardt is referring to, here is some background.