Vic Gundotra, Senior VP of Google+, exits stage left

vicg googleplus
Credit: Vic Gundotra via Google+

Big changes are happening over in Mountain View. Re/code reports that Vic Gundotra, who helped introduce and acclimate the world to Google's social network, is leaving the company.

Gundotra wrote a heartfelt farewell post on his Google+ page:

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.

Gundotra will be replaced by new Dave Besbris, who currently serves as vice president of engineering. Curiously, the position won't be filled by current Google+ product head Bradley Horowitz, who has worked on Google+ since its inception. Besbris has a lot of catching up to do to Gundotra, who is well known for his heavy online presence and penchant for posting his own personal photos for all to see.

What does that mean for Google+ exactly? Lately, the service has transcended into more than just a social network, with the service pushed as your identity for a number of Google services, like YouTube. It seems unlikely that Google would veer far from the path it's on now, especially considering that it's what grants users access to a number of free Google-hosted features, like group video chats through Hangouts and a photo locker with Photos. Maybe we'll find out at the Google I/O Developer's Conference in late June. For now, Google isn't speaking candidly on the matter. 

There's no word on where Gundotra is heading next, but he seems optimistic about his future. "Now is the time for a new journey," he wrote. "I am excited about what's next."

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