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Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired

Diane Greene is stepping down as the head of Google's cloud computing business, three years after taking the role. She will be replaced by Thomas Kurian, who has been president of Oracle since late 2014 before exiting in September.

  • Greene will remain as CEO through January continue to serve as a director on parent company Alphabet's board.

Thought bubble: Greene brought tons of industry credibility at a time when Google needed to establish itself as a cloud player, but much work remains as Google continues to battle Amazon and Microsoft. Her departure also means the exit of one of the company's top female leaders at a time where it is under the microscope with regards to gender issues

In a blog post, Greene said she had only planned to stay at Google for two years and ended up at the company for three.

"We have moved Google Cloud from having only two significant customers and a collection of startups to having major Fortune 1000 enterprises betting their future on Google Cloud," Greene said.

The context: As the founder and CEO of VMware, Greene brought a keen understanding of both businesses' IT needs as well as how the cloud shift was changing the face of corporate computing.

Greene was also one of the highest ranking and high profile female executives at Google, along with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet.

What they're saying:

Analyst Maribel Lopez of Lopez Research said Google is "definitely in the cloud race" with around 14,000 customers and innovation around artificial intelligence and machine learning.

"But the company needs to win more of the mundane workloads if it wants to be successful in the space. When Greene joined, the race for the second position was wide open in cloud computing with Google, Microsoft and IBM in the running. Today, Microsoft appears to own that second slot. Google needs to turn this around quickly."
— Maribel Lopez

Go deeper

Tracking the pandemic's unequal impact

Expand chart
Data: Morning Consult/Axios; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The pandemic was bound to hit the most economically vulnerable among us the hardest. New polling data from Morning Consult, out this morning, shows the degree to which those difficulties were more concentrated among people of color.

Catch up quick: The Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index has tracked the economic experience of adults in three wage groups since May 2020. We began publishing the findings in May of this year, and six months in, we’re slicing the data a little differently — and looking at inequality between ethnicities.

2 hours ago - Health

WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking in Geneva in October. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Monday in a new risk assessment that it believes the COVID-19 Omicron variant poses a "very high" risk to the globe because it may be more transmissible than other strains of the virus.

Why it matters: Though the WHO acknowledged there are still many uncertainties associated with the variant, the agency said it believes the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron around the world is "high."

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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