Vic Gundotra
April 25, 2014

Google+ Chief Vic Gundotra Leaving The Company After 8 Years

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Vic Gundotra, head of Google's social network Google+, announced on Thursday that he is leaving the company effective immediately.

Gundotra, the creator and mastermind behind Google's social network, announced his abrupt departure in a heartfelt Google+ post on Thursday, saying he is proud of his nearly eight year tenure with Google but that it is time for a new journey.

“Now is the time for a new journey. A continuation,” he wrote.

Gundotra did not disclose any future plans, but clearly suggested that something is in the works.

“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,” he wrote.

Gundotra related a story about the sudden death of an extended family member, which had caused him to reflect upon his life’s endeavors.

"We pour our heart and soul into our work and it becomes something we love and cherish," he wrote. "But even the challenges we work on today will one day become ‘and thens’ as we move on to the next.”

Prior to spearheading Google+, Gundotra oversaw the company's mobile and developer relations group and mobile applications. Before joining Google in 2007, he had spent 15 years as a manager with Microsoft Corp.

Gundotra expressed his pride and gratitude to those he worked with at Google over the years, including chief executive Larry Page.

“I'm overwhelmed when I think about the leadership of Larry Page and what he empowered me to do while at Google."

“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.”

A Google spokesperson confirmed Gundotra’s departure, and Page also took to Google+ to commend Gundotra's efforts in building the company's social networking service from the ground up.

"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 wrote, adding that the company would continue to invest in Google+.

Although Google has not formally announced who will replace Gundotra, Re/code reports that David Bresbis, Google’s vice president of engineering, will assume the role. Bresbis, formerly Google+'s engineering director, has been with Google for six years, joining the company from AOL.

Bradley Horowitz, Google+ product head and Gundotra’s top lieutenant, had reportedly also been a top candidate for the position.

Gundotra's departure is the latest change to Google's senior leadership team. Last year Android operating system chief Andy Rubin left the company, and in February Salar Kamangar, head of Google's YouTube video website, departed as well.

It remains to be seen what Gundotra’s exit means for Google+, which had 300 million monthly active users as of last October, according to Google. The service has transformed in recent months into more than just a social network, and is now being used to establish unified user identities for a number of Google services, such as YouTube.