indica News Bureau
Oracle veteran Thomas Kurian will take over as head of Google Cloud early next year, according to media reports.
Kurian, who joined Google last month, replaces Diane Greene, who will continue through January working with the former Oracle Corp product chief, to ensure a smooth transition. Greene will, however, remain a director on the board of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
“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,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement. Kurian’s task will presumably be to boost Google’s high-profile but struggling cloud business.
After two decades at Oracle, Kurian reportedly quit over disagreements with Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison over the future of the company’s cloud business.
Kurian, a close confidant of Ellison, wanted Oracle to make more of its software available to run on public clouds from rivals Amazon and Microsoft. After Ellison opposed this, Kurian resigned from the company in September.
In his new role, Kurian may have his chance to test his theories, and perhaps do better than Greene.
Both Oracle and Google are struggling to keep up with Amazon Web Services(AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure in cloud infrastructure. According to a CNBC report, Google poured resources into its cloud unit during Greene’s three-year run at the helm, but the company still struggles against the behemoths, Amazon and Microsoft.
With analysts Gartner Inc predicting that the cloud infrastructure market will grow from $31 billion in 2018 to $39.5 billion next year, Google desperately wants to catch up with the competition. Currently, it is yet to crack double digits in terms of market share, even as AWS revenue grew to 43 percent last year to $17.5 billion.
Kurian, a Princeton University engineering graduate, helped transform Oracle’s products with a leading suite of cloud services. As a member of Oracle’s executive committee for 13 years, he led a 35,000-people software development team in 32 countries, with an R&D budget of $4 billion.