Vic Gundotra, Head of Google+, is Leaving Google After 8 Years
Vic Gundotra is leaving Google. Gundotra joined Google in 2007 after 15 years at Microsoft. When he started at Google, he initially worked on the company’s mobile apps, including Google Maps. He was then tasked to restart Google’s social efforts, an area in which the company had failed with products like Orkut and Google Buzz while competitors like Facebook and Twitter quickly gained traction. He was also the emcee of Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference (which is coming up very soon).
The original report came from Re/Code and has since been confirmed by a Google spokesperson. Additionally, CEO Larry Page sent out an internal memo to staff about the move.
“Today I’m announcing my departure from Google after almost 8 years,” wrote Gundotra in a post titled, “And Then.” “I’m also forever in debt to the Google+ team. This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many.”
Despite the immediate departure, Gundotra remained vague in terms of what’s next for him:
“But, now is the time for a new journey. A continuation. An “and then”. I am excited about what’s next. But this isn’t the day to talk about that. This is a day to celebrate the past 8 years. To cry. And smile. And to look forward to the journey yet to come.“
Page also noted that the search giant would continue to invest in Google+, although he gave no specifics. But, according to Re/Code sources, he has picked a current Google+ exec — VP of Engineering David Besbris — to replace Gundotra. This is somewhat of a surprise considering how involved Bradley Horowitz, Google+ Product VP and Gundotra’s right-hand man, is in the social network. It’s worth noting that according to Re/Code sources Horowitz was on the list of potential candidates for the job, but again, it doesn’t seem like he’s going to get it.
According to the Google, as of October 2013 Google+ has 300 million monthly active users of its social stream on Web and mobile, and 540 million including Google products that are “socially enhanced.”
The news of Gundotra leaving follows a recent post on Secret, which indicated that Vic was interviewing. As for where he’ll end up, we’ll just have to wait and see.