Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene is out, to be replaced by former Oracle exec Thomas Kurian

  • Diane Greene became head of Google’s cloud three years ago after her start-up was acquired.
  • She’s being replaced by Thomas Kurian, who was previously president of Oracle.

Diane Greene, who was hired three years ago to build Google’s cloud-computing business, is being replaced in that job by former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian.

Google said on Friday that Kurian is joining Google Cloud on Nov. 26, and will take over the leadership role in early 2019. Greene will remain CEO of the business until then.

It’s been a rocky tenure for Greene, who brought serious enterprise chops to Google, having previously co-founded and run VMware. She’s staffed up the enterprise sales team and won business from the likes of Spotify and Snap, but Google has failed to eat into Amazon’s massive lead in the market, and Microsoft has clearly established itself in second place.

Greene, a director of Google parent company Alphabet since 2012, is staying on the board.

Kurian spent more than two decades at Oracle, rising to the level of president of product development. In September he said he was taking “extended time off” in an email to employees, but he resigned before the end of the month.

Greene wrote in a blog post on Friday that she, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president for technical infrastructure, all interviewed Kurian for the job. Hölzle originally recruited Greene to the job, which she obtained when Google acquired her previous start-up Bebop for $380 million in stock. Greene’s share of that was almost $150 million, which she said at the time she would donate to a donor advised fund.

“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,” Greene wrote. “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.”

Amazon Web Services controls 34 percent of the cloud infrastructure services market, according to Synergy Research. Microsoft is second at about 15 percent, followed by IBM in third and Google in fourth, both with market share in the single digits.

Alphabet raised eyebrows in its earnings call last month, when the company gave less information than it had in the past on the size and growth rate of the cloud unit.

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