Google Names Diane Greene to Lead Its Cloud Business

November 19, 2015, 9:28 PM UTC
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BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 02: The Google search engine is displayed on a screen on June 02, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)
Photograph by Michael Gottschalk — Photothek/Getty Images

As if to prove it is indeed serious about both its cloud computing and enterprise pushes, Google on Thursday named VMware founder Diane Greene as leader of a newly converged team of cloud businesses, including Google for Work, Google Cloud Platform, Chrome for Work, Android for Work, and Google Apps.

The news was disclosed in a blog post by Sundar Pichai, Google (GOOG) chief executive on Thursday.

Greene’s title is senior vice president of Google’s enterprise business. Among her direct reports will be Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure.

From Pichai’s post:

As a long-time industry veteran and co-founder and CEO of VMWare, Diane needs no introduction. Cloud computing is revolutionizing the way people live and work, and there is no better person to lead this important area.

Greene has been a member of Google’s board for three years and will retain that seat. Google is also buying Greene’s mysterious startup Bebob, according to The New York Times. Bebop, which may have once been called Demeterr, was working on human resources, benefits and training management software services, according to a 2014 trademark filing. That’s pretty enterprise-y stuff. And Greene’s background as chief executive at VMware, which runs in most corporate data centers, should help bolster Google’s credibility in big businesses.

“I can see Alphabet creating a separate cloud business unit under Greene,” said Jerry Chen, a former VMware executive and now general partner Greylock Partners.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter to welcome Greene into the Google family.

Google is noted for its tech expertise, but thus far its attempts to sell cloud services to large enterprises haven’t gained a ton of traction. Amazon(AMZN) Web Services is the leader in public cloud, with Microsoft (MSFT) Azure making a run.

Speaking at the Structure Conference in San Francisco Wednesday, Hölzle hinted that Google had some tricks up its sleeve to fix what he called the perception that it is not an enterprise cloud company. Now we know what one of them was.


Jonathan Vanian contributed to this report.

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