Google makes social media a priority as social chief named
That took it long enough. Google co-founder Larry Page has named the web giant’s first head of social media as part of a management shuffle of senior executives.
Page has named Vic Gundotra, vice-president of engineering, as Google’s senior vice-president of social and made social a priority across the company.
The personnel changes at Google come in the wake of Page stepping into Eric Schmidt’s shoes as CEO in January.
Gundotra has been at Google since 2007 having spent 16 years previously working at Microsoft where he left as general manager of platform evangelism. At Google he has previously spent time working on its mobile phone apps and its developer efforts, including OpenSocial.
He will report directly to Page along with five other executives at Google including Andy Rubin becomes senior vice president of mobile; Sundar Pichai senior vice president of Chrome; Salar Kamangar senior vice president of YouTube and video; Alan Eustace senior vice president of search; and Susan Wojcicki, who is now senior vice president of ads.
According to a report on the LA Times the newly promoted senior vice presidents will have more autonomy and won’t have to turn to Google’s operating committee on every decision.
“The idea is to empower people, let them take risks and give them more authority over decisions,” said one person familiar with the situation who spoke to the LA Times on the condition of anonymity to maintain his relationship with Google.
The operating committee appears to have been a major road block in Google’s ability to respond to developments in social media. To date it has had little success here as Facebook and Twitter have sprouted up around it.
Just over a week ago Google launched +1 to take on Facebook’s Like button. The button falls a long way short of being a substantial response to Facebook.
Google has been rumoured for a long time to be working on a social network of its owned dubbed Google Me. However, almost a year after it was reported that “Google Facebook killer ‘Google Me’ is no rumour” it remains just that.
What is true is that Page knows social has to be a priority. Silicon Insider reports that Page wants to give everyone at Google a better or worse bonus based on how well the company performs in “social” this year.
“Some people are cheering Page for bringing back a startup spirit to the company. Others are groaning about an unfair added risk to their compensation. Why should someone in sales have their take-home pay influenced by something they had no part in? Does Page really expect every employee to push their friends and family onto new Google products?”
As well as the promotions Jonathan Rosenberg, senior vice-president of product management, has been a high profile departure.
Last month Google bought BeatThatQuote for £38m.