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Google Names Former Microsoft Exec to Help Cloud Unit

Google has tapped Sam Ramji, a former Microsoft exec and Cloud Foundry Foundation chief executive, to help steer its cloud efforts, Fortune has learned.

The company confirmed the news prior to the published announcement.

There were few other details available, but Ramji will work in Diane Greene’s business unit. Greene is the former VMware (VMW) chief executive that Google brought aboard last year ago to build a business around the Google Cloud Platform.

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It’s not an easy task. Even those who love what Google has done with its variable computing instances and BigQuery data querying tool say the company faces huge challenges catching up to market leader Amazon Web Services. Microsoft Azure is seen as the second largest public cloud.

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“AWS has achieved escape velocity. There is no catching it,” a former Google (GOOG) exec told Fortune recently.

Ramji has been CEO at the Cloud Foundry Foundation for almost two years. Before that, he was chief strategy officer at Apigee, and he headed up open-source efforts at Microsoft (MSFT).

Note: This story was updated to show Ramji has been Cloud Foundry CEO for almost two years.