Early last year, X unveiled Chronicle as the moonshot lab’s latest graduate. Joining Alphabet, it was focused on cybersecurity and included VirusTotal. Back in June, it was folded into Google Cloud where it’s now apparently struggling.
Vice today detailed the employee discontent about Chronicle’s direction under Google Cloud. One rather boldly claimed that “Chronicle is dead” and that the original vision has been abandoned under the new management. CEO Stephen Gillett now has another position within Google, while chief security officer Mike Wiacek left entirely and chief technology officer Will Robison is also departing.
The promise of Chronicle was to leverage Alphabet’s massive scale, compute power, and threat awareness to create products that make cybersecurity easier, automatic, and proactive. As an independent Alphabet company, it launched VirusTotal Enterprise and Backstory, a tool for uploading and analyzing petabytes of security logs.
Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian framed the merger this June as due to increasing product overlap, and to “create a powerful and comprehensive security portfolio that will benefit all of our customers.” In that regard, it makes sense not to duplicate and confuse customers on what offerings to buy.
However, Vice today detailed how within Google, Chronicle was not able to be “legitimately agile” or “do rapid prototyping.” The startup culture that originated under X was apparently not replicable within Cloud. That said, another employee interviewed said a roadmap is still in place.
“People keep quitting. Sales doesn’t know what to do since there’s no real product roadmap anymore. Engineering is depressed for the same reason, folks have been finding jobs at startups or transferring to other parts of Google,” the current employee said.
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