Google just named a former Oracle exec as the head of its giant cloud business

Google will replace Diane Greene as the head of its cloud business.
  • Google
    will replace Diane Greene as the CEO of its cloud business in
  • Thomas Kurian, a former Oracle executive, will replace Greene
    as the head of Google Cloud.
  • Greene has drawn criticism as Google has struggled to keep up
    with Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud-computing market.

Diane Greene is stepping down as the head of Google’s cloud

The former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian will replace Greene as
CEO of Google Cloud,
she announced in a blog post on Friday
. Kurian will join the
company on November 26 and assume the leadership role in January,
and Greene will continue to serve as CEO until then, she said.

Greene, who has been the CEO of Google Cloud since December 2015,
said she hadn’t planned to stay in the position this long. After
stepping down, she plans to focus on mentoring and backing female
entrepreneurs and education-technology projects.

“After an unbelievably stimulating and productive three years,
it’s time to turn to the passions I’ve long had around mentoring
and education,” she said in the post.

Even after stepping down as Google Cloud’s CEO, Greene will
remain on the board of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, she
said in the post. She’s been a director of the company since

CNBC first
reported the news

Kurian was the president of product development at Oracle, where
he headed up its cloud-computing effort. After a 22-year stint at
he resigned
in September
after clashing with Larry Ellison
, the company’s founder and
executive chairman.

Read this:
Oracle puts a guy from Microsoft in charge of cloud as the head
of cloud resigns

In a statement, Kurian said he was looking forward to joining

“I’m excited to join the fantastic Google Cloud team at this
important and promising time,” he said.

In his own short statement, Google CEO Sundar Pichai praised
Greene’s work on the company’s cloud efforts.

“I have deep appreciation for everything Diane has done and I’m
super happy that we’ll continue to benefit from her wisdom as she
continues serving on our board of directors,” he said.

Greene, the founder and former CEO of VMware, has been under fire
of late because Google Cloud has become a distant also-ran to
Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure in the cloud-computing

Here’s Greene’s blog post:

Hello All,

When I joined Google full-time to run Cloud in December 2015, I
told my family and friends that it would be for two years. Now,
after an unbelievably stimulating and productive three years,
it’s time to turn to the passions I’ve long had around
mentoring and education.

The mentoring will include investing in and helping female
founder CEOs who have engineering or science backgrounds. I
want to encourage every woman engineer and scientist to think
in terms of building their own company someday. The world will
be a better place with more female founder CEOs.

The work in education will especially be initiatives that
combine technology with in-person teaching to make high-quality
education that is low-cost, scalable and personalized. When
bebop was purchased by Google, I committed all of my proceeds
to philanthropy, it is high time to put that money to work!

Thomas Kurian, a respected technologist and executive, will be
joining Google Cloud on November 26th and transitioning into
the Google Cloud leadership role in early 2019. Sundar, Urs and
I all interviewed Thomas, and I believe that he’ll do an
amazing job helping to take Google Cloud to the next
level.Thomas has 22 years of experience at Oracle; most
recently he was President of Product Development.

I will continue as CEO through January, working with Thomas to
ensure a smooth transition. I will remain a Director on the
Alphabet board.

The Google Cloud team has accomplished amazing things over the
last three years, and I’m proud to have been a part of this
transformative work. We have moved Google Cloud from having
only two significant customers and a collection of startups to
having major Fortune 1000 enterprises betting their future on
Google Cloud, something we should accept as a great compliment
as well as a huge responsibility.

We’ve built a strong business together-set up by integrating
sales, marketing, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Google
Apps/G Suite into what is now called Google Cloud.

We established a training and professional services
organization and partnering organizations. We revamped customer
engineering and added a team of experts in the Office of the
CTO. We also pioneered a way to help enterprises adopt AI
through our Advanced Solutions Lab. We built out a full
marketing organization that in just three years has received
many recognitions including Cannes Lions awards. We set up our
industry verticals org where we have achieved massive traction
in health, financial services, retail, gaming and media, energy
and manufacturing, and transportation. We set up the Cloud ML
and the Cloud IoT groups. We acquired Apigee, Kaggle, qwiklabs
and several great small startups. Our technology development
has been recognized throughout the industry, and Google Cloud
is differentiated in security, AI, open hybrid application
modernization, G Suite, and many other areas. We are now
recognized as a leader in 11 Gartner Magic Quadrants and
Forrester Waves.

But here’s what I’m most proud of: the phenomenal team
assembled and how we together have built out all of our
functions for customer-facing enterprise readiness and
engineering enterprise execution. When this journey started,
some people would say that Google had great technology but they
weren’t sure that customers would rely on Google as their
enterprise partner. At our recent Google Cloud Next event in
San Francisco, we had over 23,000 attendees, representing 10x
growth from 2016. With nearly 300 customers speaking about how
Google Cloud is helping to transform their businesses, no one
was questioning our seriousness or our abilities.

The cloud space is early and there is an enormous opportunity
ahead. I have loved working with everyone. I am especially
grateful to all of our customers, partners, and employees for
an amazing three years of getting to work with you.


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