David Girouard, who led Google’s push into enterprise applications, is leaving the company for a startup called Upstart.com.
An eight-year veteran with search giant, Girouard posted the news to his Google+ site Friday night. He helped lead Google’s push to take on Microsoft in desktop applications and email, two areas where Microsoft was (and remains) the market leader. Google was, however, able to parlay its cloud-based infrastructure to win share. And, many said its aggressive subscription pricing on Google Apps and Gmail — not to mention the free versions – forced Microsoft to offer cheaper software-as-a-service versions of Office, SharePoint, and Exchange email.
Girouard also spearheaded the Google Appliance push to embed Google search inside customer data centers. Sundar Pichai, SVP of Google Chrome and apps, will take on Girouard’s responsibilities, CRN reported.
In his post, Girouard wrote:
In recent months, I’ve thought a lot about the younger generation; about the opportunities and challenges they face in navigating their careers and life choices. The result is www.upstart.com, which you’ll (hopefully) hear a lot more about in the coming months.
Girouard posted his news the same day Google confirmed a report that had it had hired Digg founder Kevin Rose. Rose’s new duties were not specified.
For all Google’s effort, it is unclear how much traction the company has, in fact, had in enterprise accounts where Microsoft Office and Exchange still lead in market share.
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