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February 13, 2019

New Google Cloud Boss Vows Aggressive Expansion

"We are hiring some of the best talent from around the industry"

By CBR Staff Writer

In his first major public appearance since being appointed, new Google Cloud Platform CEO Thomas Kurian promised “aggressive” expansion.

The former Oracle president, appointed in November 2018, was speaking at a Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, as reported by CNBC.

“We are hiring some of the best talent from around the industry to grow our sales organization, and you will see us competing much more aggressively”, he said.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) will also increasingly focus on industry verticals like financial services and work more with channel partners, he added. (GCP’s existing financial services customers include HSBC, Paypal and Allianz.)

Read this: Now IBM’s Bought Red Hat, Who Does Google Buy?

Previously product development president at Oracle, where he oversaw a 35,000-strong software development team and a $4 billion R&D budget, Kurian is now in charge of both the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and G Suite productivity apps lines.

Google does not break out cloud figures so it is hard for industry watchers to assess how it is performing. Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said the company has “more than doubled both the number of Google Cloud platform deals over $1 million as well as the number of multiyear contracts signed” in its recent quarterlies.

Recent big wins include the UK’s Telegraph, as covered by Computer Business Review here.

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See also: 5 Things We Learned from Google’s 2018 Results

Like its industry rivals AWS and Microsoft Azure, GCP offers a range of cloud-based tools for customers, ranging from “build-your-own” (or “pre-packaged”) Artificial Intelligence, to storage, device management and more.

Whether the promised aggressive expansion also includes acquisitions remains to be seen: GCP M&A activity has been well below that of its peers, despite its cash pile doubling over the past five years to a whopping $109 billion.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told analysts last week: “We have a very high bar, and so to me it’s been more about us finding the right fit rather than being constrained by anything in particular. It’s always an important part of our strategy and we’ve done great acquisitions in the past… We continue to look for opportunities ahead.”

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