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V3 Hot Seat: Georg Ell, Yammer Europe general manager

14 Aug 2012

georg-ell-yammer-enterprise-social-networkGeorg Ell is the latest guest in the V3 Hot Seat. He is currently general manager at Yammer Europe, an enterprise social network which has recently been acquired by Microsoft. Ell will be familiar with the Microsoft culture as before joining Yammer he worked in sales roles at the Redmond giant.

Ell follows the likes of McAfee's chief technology officer Raj Samani and Raspberry Pi executive director Eben Upton in V3's Hot Seat.

What would be your dream job (apart from your current role, of course)? 

England rugby captain? Maybe in another life... I genuinely have my dream job right now. Anyone who works with me knows that's true.
Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?

Since leaving Microsoft 18 months ago I stuck to my Windows Phone 7, and love it, but I have also added an iPhone 4S, and enjoy using both.

What’s your favourite thing about working in the IT industry? 

I'm a geek, and still get excited about new technology every day. I'm an ardent believer in the transformative power of technology to improve all aspects of human existence, from politics to sport to medicine and education.

The IT industry is the most powerful agent of change and improvement in people's lives that the world has ever seen. 

I've found the most interesting people I meet are the ones who straddle technology and another area, whether that's art, sport, politics. It results in the most exciting and smart new ways to change the world, and isn't limited by age, gender, background or education.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Working with an incredible team to grow Yammer EMEA from three to 75 people in 18 months. The list of incredible experiences has been amazing, and continues to surprise and inspire me.

E-readers or real books? 

E-readers. I use Kindle across my Kindle, iPad, iPhone and Windows Phone, which lets me read wherever I am and whatever I'm doing, in small snippets, just to rest the brain from time to time. Also I have a small apartment and travel a lot, so storing/transporting all the books is not an option!

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? 

Rolling Stones, hands down.

Windows or Mac OS? 

Windows. Mac is fine for non-work related stuff, but for getting work done alongside my personal life there's no comparison.

Until now that's been equally as much to do with the productivity tools as the OS, but with Windows 8/Windows Phone 8/Surface, I'm genuinely excited about how this will transform what's possible across devices and the cloud.

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Madeline Bennett

Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN. 

View Madeline's Google+ profile

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