Former Oracle Corporation executive Thomas Kurian has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of Google Cloud. Kurian, 63, hails from the southern state of Kerala. He will succeed Diane Greene, who became head of Google’s Cloud three years ago. She will continue through January working with Kurian to ensure a smooth transition. She will, however, remain a Director on the board of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
According to a statement issued by Greene on Friday, Kurian will join Google Cloud on November 26.
“Kurian, a respected technologist and executive, will be joining Google Cloud on November 26 and transitioning into the Google Cloud leadership role in early 2019,” she said.
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Speaking about his new stint, Kurian said he is excited to join the fantastic Google Cloud team at this important and promising time. The sexagenarian said that he is looking forward to building on the success of recent years as it enters its next phase of growth.
Stint with Oracle
Prior to this, Kurian had served as President of Product Development at Oracle Corporation between 1996 and 2018. Before this, Kurian had worked with McKinsey and Company as a consultant serving clients in the software, telecommunications, and financial services industries.
Kurian had worked with Oracle for 22 years. He stepped down from Oracle in September reportedly over disagreements with Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison over the future of the company as Cloud business gets highly competitive.
With Kurian’s induction, Google is getting an executive who used to supervise cloud development at Oracle – world’s second-largest software maker. According to his Linkedin profile, Kurian was a member of Oracle’s Executive Committee for 13 years. He led 35,000-people software development team in 32 countries with an R&D budget of $4 billion. Besides, he also helped in the transformation of Oracle’s products with the introduction of leading suite of Cloud Services, led 60 software acquisitions and Oracle’s 45 Cloud data centres.
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It was because of Kurian’s efforts that Oracle struggled to gain much traction against Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure.
According to people familiar with Kurian’s stint at Oracle, he adheres to a top-down model of management. He climbed through the ranks of the software maker by spearheading products that accelerated sales growth such as middleware.
Kurian comes from Pampady village of Kottayam district in Kerala. He and his twin brother George Kurian moved to the United States in 1986 to study at Princeton. Kurian was enrolled to IIT, Madras but after six months, he decided to quit and move to the US to pursue his bachelor’s education. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from Princeton University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude (with the highest distinction). He has an MBA degree from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
His brother George is CEO of California-based Hybrid Cloud data services and data management company NetApp and a member of the Board of Directors.