The head of Google+ and Google’s social efforts, Vic Gundotra, announced that he’s stepping down today. Google has confirmed that his replacement will be, as Re/code sources speculated, the current vice president of engineering for Google+, David Besbris.
Re/code broke the news of Besbris taking over according to its sources, but Google itself didn’t confirm that. But now Google has told Marketing Land that the Re/code story is correct, Besbris will indeed be taking over, though his exact title is yet to be determined.
Gundotra shared his departure news on Google+ itself, saying in part:
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.
Gundotra joined Google in 2007, and led the company’s mobile and developer relations teams before taking the lead on Google+. He didn’t say where he was heading to next, saying only:
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.
Google CEO Larry Page thanked Gundotra for his time on his own Google+ page, posting the following open note to his former Google+ lead:
You cut your teeth on our mobile apps and developer relations, turning our disparate efforts into something great. When I first used turn-by-turn navigation, it blew me away. 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 you 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 your hard work and passion.