Google Cloud CEO stepping down; Oracle veteran to succeed
Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene is departing as chief executive after leading the enterprise group for three years, she announced Friday.
Thomas Kurian, who left Oracle in September, is joining Google Cloud November 26 and will replace Greene as CEO in early 2019. Kurian spent 22 years at Oracle and most recently served as President of Product Development.
Greene is turning her focus to mentoring and training, particularly for women who are founding CEOs in the engineering and science space, according to her announcement. Her education initiatives will "combine technology and in-person teaching" that is personalized and scalable.
When Greene began as CEO, she was critical of Google's cloud product, saying it needed audit logs, improved security controls, peer-to-peer networking and compliance. But two years into her tenure, Greene became adamant Google Cloud will overcome being a "distant third" to Amazon Web Services by 2022.
After AWS, Microsoft and Google are still running in second and third place, respectively, but experts commend Google Cloud's technical proficiency. It's a fast-growing business unit for Google, but last year, Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google, speaking at Structure 2017, said Microsoft's marketing efforts are better.
With a career spent in the enterprise world, Greene helped mature Google Cloud, transforming it into a competitive enterprise business.
Her successor comes from a longtime Google Cloud and enterprise rival: Oracle. Though many are critical of Oracle's approach to the enterprise business, tapping an executive leader with expertise in selling to the business world will help further grow Google's market.
Notably, Hölzle and Greene's predictions hold water. He also proclaimed Google's cloud business would eventually outpace its search engine parent company in revenue. While catching up to Google's massive advertising unit is a challenge, as it brings in $10 billion per quarter, it's not impossible.
Google Cloud can do this by transforming from a vendor for SMBs to an enterprise provider. After locking in companies including Target, Domino's Pizza and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Google continues to gain a competitive edge in the market.
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