Google Appoints New Chief To Lead Stepped-Up Cloud Charge

Google has appointed Bertrand Yansouni,who previously worked under Google Cloud Executive Vice President Diane Greene at VMware. as its new global channel chief.

The appointment comes with Greene, the highly respected former co-founder and CEO of virtualization powerhouse VMware, driving a stepped-up channel charge to grab share from rival Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.

Yansouni, who previously led the partner program at big data startup Cloudera, joined Google in November, leading global partner sales and alliances for Google Cloud Platform- the vendor's Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service products.

He recently replaced Murali Sitaram as Google's channel chief and has already begun meeting with Google solution providers, sources said. Google, Mountain View, Calif., could not be reached for comment as of press time

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Yansouni's elevation to the top channel job is further evidence of Google's pivot in focus from its G Suite Software-as-a-Service portfolio toward the infrastructure products that compete directly with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, said a Google solution provider who asked not to be identified.

"I'm not surprised that somebody from Cloud is taking the helm," the solution provider said. "The messaging we are starting to hear is more around Google Cloud, of which G Suite is a part."

Yansouni spent four years as the channel chief at Cloudera, a Hadoop vendor based in Palo Alto, Calif. Before that he was vice president of worldwide field operations at Delphix, with roles earlier in his career at Riverbed, Spyglass, SAP and IBM, according to LinkedIn.

Between 2002 and 2005, during Greene's tenure as CEO of VMware, Yansouni was director of channel sales for the virtualization vendor. Greene now leads Google's cloud division, overseeing the company's channel efforts and enterprise strategy.

With Greene leading the enterprise channel charge, Google last year notched a series of customer wins that doubled its revenue and began a channel expansion.

That included a blockbuster Google Cloud Platform deal with Apple – a deal with market-shaking ramifications that was first reported by CRN.

Apple, in fact, became Google's biggest customer ever, taking hundreds of millions in revenue from rival Amazon Web Services. The deal marked a major turning point for Google.

Greene also initiated a rebranding of Google's enterprise division from Google For Work to the simpler moniker of Google Cloud, which she said better reflected the provider's enterprise maturity.