Google IO 2011 (Vic Gundotra in front of anti-Apple slide)Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering and head of Google+ Vic Gundotra has announced that he is leaving the company today after eight years. Gundotra published a long explanation regarding his leaving on Google+, but he didn’t provide much info on what he’ll be doing next:

Today I’m announcing my departure from Google after almost 8 years…I have been incredibly fortunate to work with the amazing people of Google. I don’t believe there is a more talented and passionate collection of people anywhere else. And I’m overwhelmed when I think about the leadership of +Larry Page and what he empowered me to do while at Google. From starting Google I/O, to being responsible for all mobile applications, to creating Google+, none of this would have happened without Larry’s encouragement and support.

Google also provided a statement from CEO Larry Page to Recode who noted Vic was instrumental in building Google+, mobile apps, developer relations and more: “Vic built Google+ from nothing. There are few people with the courage and ability to start something like that and I am very grateful for all his hard work.”

“Vic cut his teeth on our mobile apps and developer relations, turning Google’s disparate efforts into something great … And, walking onto the stage at I/O last year, it was amazing to see developers so excited about Google. These were vintage Vic projects. Then Vic built Google+ from nothing. There are few people with the courage and ability to start something like that and I am very grateful for all his hard work and passion.”

Page also apparently told the site that that Google will continue to invest in Google+ and, while the company isn’t announcing Gundotra’s replacement yet, Recode says Google+ VP of engineering David Besbris has been picked for the position.

Vic was also somewhat of a public figure for the company, especially among developers, and helped start the company’s Google I/O developer conference at which he often appeared on stage:

Gundotra’s full announcement is below:

Last month, my wife’s uncle died in a tragic accident in LA when the bicycle he was using to get lunch was hit by a truck. At the memorial service his daughter relayed a very touching story. 

She said her dad (who was her best friend) called every day to talk. But instead of opening the call with the customary “How are you” or “What’s going on”, her dad always opened the conversation with “And then?” Her father viewed each conversation as a continuation of the last, and what pained her the most was that there were to be no more “and thens”. I cried. 

Since then I’ve thought a lot about how similar this is to our life’s endeavors. We pour our heart and soul into our work and it becomes something we love and cherish. But even the challenges we work on today will one day become “and thens” as we move on to the next. 

Today I’m announcing my departure from Google after almost 8 years.

I have been incredibly fortunate to work with the amazing people of Google. I don’t believe there is a more talented and passionate collection of people anywhere else. And I’m overwhelmed when I think about the leadership of +Larry Page and what he empowered me to do while at Google. From starting Google I/O, to being responsible for all mobile applications, to creating Google+, none of this would have happened without Larry’s encouragement and support.

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. The growth of active users is staggering, and speaks to the work of this team. But it doesn’t tell you what kind of people they are. They are invincible dreamers. I love them. And I will miss them dearly.

Finally, thank you to all those who I’ve met on Google+. The community here has been so supportive that I don’t even know how to say thank you. You all make Google+. Without you, this social network wouldn’t exist. Your support for Google+, and for me personally is something I will never forget. 

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.

And then….
+Vic Gundotra 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s