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Google hires VMware co-founder as cloud chief, aiming for enterprise adoption

Google hires VMware co-founder as cloud chief, aiming for enterprise adoption

Diane Greene will oversee a group that includes Google Cloud Platform, Google apps and more

VMware co-founder Diane Greene will oversee all of Google's cloud businesses, including its Cloud Platform and Apps productivity suite, the company announced Thursday

Greene, who has been on the company's board of directors for three years, took the position as the technology giant agreed to acquire Bebop, a stealthy startup that she co-founded. In a blog post announcing the news, Google CEO Sundar Pichai called the company's product "a new development platform that makes it easy to build and maintain enterprise applications."

It's not clear what exactly that means, but Pichai went on to say that he expects the deal to let more businesses reap the benefits of cloud computing. In addition to Greene, the rest of the team from Bebop is also slated to join Google as part of the acquisition.

Greene served as VMware's CEO from 1998 until she was fired by the company's board of directors in 2008. She also serves on Intuit's board of directors, which she joined in 2006. 

Thursday's news comes as Google is trying to cement its credibility as an enterprise service provider. The company's cloud platform remains less popular among companies than Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Google argues that its expertise as an Internet company makes it a logical choice for enterprises looking to buy into the public cloud, but its largest competitors are also big Internet players and have more popular cloud platforms. 

Google is also trying to woo larger businesses away from their software contracts with Microsoft by offering to give organizations access to the Google Apps productivity suite for free for the length of their enterprise agreement with the company's competitor to the north. 

On Wednesday, Google's infrastructure chief, Urs Hölzle, said he expects the company's cloud platform revenue to eclipse its ad revenue within five years. Greene's leadership could help the company fulfill those ambitions. 

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