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July 16, 2012
As Google Enterprise President and Google Apps VP David Girouard exists the search giant, channel partners are marching forward and preparing for the Google I/O conference (June 27-29, San Francisc0).
No doubt, The Google Apps Authorized Reseller base respects Girouard. But Google Apps is far beyond the start-up stage, and Google has a deep bench of channel leaders who are working closely with partners. Key names include Stephen Cho, director of Google Apps Channels, and Jeff Ragusa, Google Apps SMB channel lead.
So where is Girouard heading next? The answer is Upstart.com, which helps to fund startups and is backed by Google. Girouard confirmed his Google Apps exit on Google+ on March 16:
“It's true. After eight wonderful and life-altering years, I've decided to leave Google to pursue my own adventure. I owe a lifetime of gratitude to +Larry Page +Sergey Brin and +Eric Schmidt and so many others at Google for giving me such an incredible opportunity.”
Girouard led the charge to push Google into the cloud enterprise market against rival Microsoft. The showdown between Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 now involves a price war plus a never-ending battle in the government cloud market. During Girouard's leadership, Google also gave the green light for key Google Apps Authorized Reseller program components — including phone support for small business customers and the right for resellers to control end-customer billing.
Also on March 16, product VP Bradley Horowitz of Google+ announced the hiring of Digg founder Kevin Rose. It has been reported that Google Chrome senior VP Sundar Puchai will take over Girouard’s former post, and that Amit Singh will continue to manage Google Enterprise.
Two Google Apps resellers declined to comment about Girouard's departure, stating that they believed the Google Apps strategy remains in good hands. Both resellers have registered to attend the Google I/O conference, where they hope to hear updates about how Google Apps, Android and Google Apps Marketplace can unlock additional revenue opportunities.
Additional reporting and insights from Joe Panettieri.
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