Thomas Kurian joins Google Cloud to revive business

Google Cloud, which made $1 billion revenue in the recent quarter, has hired former Oracle product chief Thomas Kurian to replace Diane Greene as the new head.
Thomas Kurian, president, product development, OracleGoogle announced that Thomas Kurian will be senior vice president for Google Cloud. Diane Greene has served as chief executive of Google Cloud. Diane Greene, who joined Google three years ago, will remain on Alphabet’s board.

Thomas Kurian, who spent 22 years at Oracle, resigned in September as the president of product development at Oracle after struggling to expand its cloud business.

Google Cloud division appointed Diane Greene, the co-founder of VMware, as its CEO in November 2015, to effectively vie for share of the enterprise cloud market in competition with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, among others, analyst firm TBR said in a research note.

Thomas Kurian will be able to wrap Google’s technical abilities in a clear and compelling enterprise story, Meaghan McGrath, senior analyst at TBR, said.

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.
Google Cloud revenue vs competitionThe chart prepared by TBR indicates that Google Cloud remains a fraction of the revenue volume of the market leaders. While the business will be challenged to encroach on the cemented leaders in its market, Google Cloud will gain market share over the coming years from residual market consolidation.

Google Cloud faces setback

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

The backlash over military work prompted an internal committee of top employees to issue company wide principles to govern the use of Google’s artificial intelligence systems, including a ban on using them to develop weaponry. The move essentially limited the cloud unit’s potential customer base, Reuters reported.

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

Google Cloud still tries to catch up to rivals and Microsoft. Oracle’s cloud business trails Google’s at present.

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