Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene is leaving the company and will be replaced by Thomas Kurian, a former top Oracle executive.
Kurian will join Google Cloud on Nov. 26 and transition into a leadership role in early 2019. Green will remain CEO through January 2019.
Google hired Greene, a former CEO and co-founder of VMware, in 2015 to build its cloud business. During her tenure she helped shift the tech giant’s cloud focus to enterprise business and artificial intelligence (AI).
In a blog post announcing her departure, Greene said she is leaving to pursue her passions around mentoring and education. The mentoring will involve investing in and helping female engineers and scientists build their own companies.
“The world will be a better place with more female founder CEOs,” she wrote. “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!”
Google’s parent company Alphabet bought Greene’s startup bebop, an enterprise application development platform, for $380.2 million in 2016.
Kurian’s Oracle Tenure
Kurian spent 22 years at Oracle and most recently served as president of product development. In this role, Kurian reported directly to Oracle Executive Chairman of the Board and CTO Larry Ellison, not co-CEOs Safra Catz and Mark Hurd. Kurian was responsible for leading Oracle’s shift to a cloud technology company, which has been a rough transition as it struggles to compete against cloud giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
Reports quickly surfaced, saying that Kurian clashed with Ellison over Oracle’s cloud strategy. Kurian, according to a Bloomberg report, wanted Oracle’s software to run in rival public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Ellison, meanwhile, has no love for other cloud providers, and especially not AWS.
In her blog post, Greene wrote that she, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Google SVP for technical infrastructure Urs Hölzle all interviewed Thomas for the job. “I believe that he’ll do an amazing job helping to take Google Cloud to the next level,” she wrote.
In a statement, Kurian said: “I’m excited to join the fantastic Google Cloud team at this important and promising time. I’m looking forward to building on the success of recent years as it enters its next phase of growth.”