Vic Gundotra, the father of Google Plus, is leaving after serving nearly eight years at Google. He doesn't say where he's going next, or who will take his position once he's vacated the seat. Instead, he sends a long goodbye to Google, his Google Plus team and everyone else he's met on Google Plus.
"I have been incredibly fortunate to work with the amazing people of Google," he writes. "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."
He says that he's also forever in debt to the Google Plus team. "This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many," he continues. "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 signed on with Google in 2007 after a 16-year stint at Microsoft as a general manager. At Google he initially worked on the company's mobile maps, including Google Maps. He was later tasked with developing Google's social efforts after the failures of Buzz and Orkut. He was also the mastermind behind the Google I/O events. This year will be the first year he does not attend.
Google boss Larry Page responded to the fairwell in a separate Google Plus update, thanking Gundotra for a "tremendous" almost eight years at Google.
"You cut your teeth on our mobile apps and developer relations, turning our disparate efforts into something great," Page writes. "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," Page adds. "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."
So who will run Google Plus now? Google confirmed that it will be David Besbris, a Google vice-president of engineering. Sources claim that he got the job over the social network's current product manager, Bradley Horowitz.