Thomas Kurian appointed Head of Google’s Cloud Business

Thomas Kurian appointed Head of Google’s Cloud Business

Former Oracle Corp. product chief Thomas Kurian has replaced Diane Greene as head of the cloud division at Alphabet Inc’s Google on November 26th, a report here stated. Kurian, who spent 22 years at Oracle and had been a close confidante of its founder Larry Ellison, resigned in September after struggling to expand its cloud business, according to reports.

“I’m looking forward to building on the success of recent years as it enters its next phase of growth,” the Indian American executive said in a statement of Google’s Cloud business, adding he is excited to join the team “at this important and promising time.”

Greene has served as chief executive of Google Cloud; Kurian will be senior vice president for Google Cloud, a company spokesman said, according to multiple reports.

Google announced in February that the cloud division, which sells computing services, online data storage and productivity software such as email and spreadsheet tools, was generating more than $1 billion in quarterly revenue.

It faced a setback months later when thousands of Google employees revolted against Greene’s unit supplying the U.S. military with artificial intelligence tools to aid in analyzing drone imagery. Greene responded by announcing the deal would not be renewed, the reports said.

The backlash over military work prompted an internal committee of top employees to issue companywide principles to govern the use of Google’s artificial intelligence systems, including a ban on using them to develop weaponry.

Google also bowed out from bidding for a $10 billion military cloud computing contract, citing its lack of certifications to handle sensitive data, reports said.

Closing and extending such deals would have given Google Cloud a major boost as it tries to catch up to rivals Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Oracle’s cloud business trails Google’s.

Steve Koenig, a financial analyst following Oracle for Wedbush Securities, said Kurian is better positioned at Google to drive business sales growth than at his former employer, the reports said.

“Like Diane Greene, Kurian has serious enterprise chops,” Koenig said in a statement. “Google clearly remains serious about scaling up its enterprise business.”

Greene said Kurian interviewed with her, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and long-time infrastructure chief Urs Hölzle and will join Google on Nov. 26.

“We’re really excited to welcome Thomas, whose product vision, customer focus and deep expertise will be a huge asset to our growing Cloud business,” Pichai said in a statement.

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