Microsoft PM “Resigns” Via Video, Joins Justin Kan’s New Startup Exec


Exec, the new TaskRabbit competitor from’s co-founder, Justin Kan, has just hired a new designer it seems. Or so she sings. In a video posted to YouTube by one Karen X. Cheng, she sings and strums – rather nicely, in fact – to the tune of “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie” about how she’s leaving behind her job Microsoft, where she spent three years compiling Excel code, and is now “hopping on a plane to San Francisco” to join Exec.

“The next time that I touch a spec will be at a startup called Exec. My PM days have expired, I’ve taken a job as a designer.”

Now that’s going out with a bang!

The job in question is the one still advertised here on Exec’s hiring page, describing a position that involves “building a premium brand through a combination of excellent visual design and ease and clarity of the product offering.” Photoshop, HTML, and CSS skills were on the must list. It’s sort of an interesting switch going from being a Program Manager at Microsoft for Excel to designer for an early stage startup, but clearly Karen isn’t one of those folks whose skills are limited to spreadsheets, from the looks of it.

Justin says the company is “super excited” to have Karen join. Previously she was doing all the UX stuff for Excel, he notes, but Karen is talented in all the things Exec needs, including visual identity, UX and mobile. Plus, says Justin, “she’s really charismatic.” (No kidding!)

He hopes that Karen will help Exec’s site more appealing (like this, but even better), but she will be mainly focused on making sure the usability and user experience for Exec is as easy as possible, he says.

Karen will make Exec a team of seven, and is “definitely is going to bring up the karaoke average,” jokes Justin. “Actually, karaoke with the team was part of the interview process,” he adds.

For what it’s worth, Karen did quit Microsoft via the standard resignation email (not the YouTube video), but she tells us that she announced it to the team via video.