Google Cloud is in third place in the cloud industry, but CEO Thomas Kurian is remaking its leadership in a bid to be more competitive.
Kurian came to the top spot at Google via Oracle, and made no secret of his desire to move Google Cloud into second place within five years. Despite coming up on three years at Google, the company is still firmly in third place.
According to Business Insider, much of the old guard has been leaving the cloud unit in favor of leadership that is loyal to Kurian, leadership he’s brought in from rivals Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. Urs Hölzle and Eyal Manor are two high-profile Google Cloud execs that have left the cloud unit for other roles within Google.
“As Google Cloud grows, we regularly evaluate the best organizational structure to better scale our business and provide a world-class experience for our customers,” a Google Cloud spokesperson told Insider.
Experts believe Kurian and Google are trying to remake the company’s image in an effort to attract customers and prove Google Cloud is a serious contender.
“They’re shaking out some of the older people,” Dan Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus told Insider. “It’s a message that they’re trying to change and change the direction of the ship so they’re perceived more differently in the marketplace and can become profitable.”
Morgan’s assessment goes hand-in-hand with other changes Google’s cloud unit has made to buff its image, including rolling out Google Enterprise APIs. Google has a well-established reputation for killing off projects, regardless of how beloved they might be, a reputation that doesn’t inspire confidence in companies looking to base their entire business around the company’s cloud platform. Enterprise APIs were introduced as a way of assuring customers they could rely on Google Cloud, and the features it offers, long-term.
With only a couple of years left in his five-year goal, it remains to be seen if Kurian can drive Google Cloud into second place.