Google's 'Social Czar' Vic Gundotra Resigns


Google's Senior Vice President for Social Vivek Gundotra announced his resignation from the company today on his Google+ account.

In an emotional post, the 45-year-old software developer talked about his wife's uncle being killed in a cycling accident, about how people pour "heart and soul" into their work, and how it's time "for a new journey. A continuation."

Gundotra, who friends called "Vic," praised his co-workers over the past eight years at Google, writing, "I don't believe there is a more talented and passionate collection of people anywhere else" and said he was "overwhelmed" when thinking about the leadership of Larry Page, Google's co-founder and CEO.

Gundotra had worked since 1991 as general manager of Platform Evangelism at Microsoft, responsible for promoting Microsoft's platforms to independent developers, before he was poached by the Mountain View, Calif., search engine giant.

When luring him from Microsoft, Google deemed Gundotra so valuable that they waited a year for his non-compete agreement to expire. In that time, Gundotra worked on charitable ventures.

At Google, he first worked as vice president of engineering, again responsible for developer evangelism and open source programs. He eventually became chief of the company’s social ventures and came to be thought of as the company’s 'czar’ of all things social.

Page, also on Google+, praised what he called "vintage Vic projects," including building "Google+ from nothing."

"There are few people with the courage and ability to start something like that and I am very grateful for all your hard work and passion," Page wrote after reminiscing about Gundotra's early work for the company on its mobile apps and developer relations.

Page promised the departing engineer that the company would "continue working hard to build great, new experiences for the ever-increasing number of Google+ fans."

Gundotra wrote he's "excited about what's next," without specifying what that would be.

Google Vice President of Engineering David Besbris has been selected to replace him.

PUBLISHED APRIL 24, 2014