Google Cloud Chief Operating Officer Diane Bryant left the company only eight months after joining the Mountain View, California-based tech giant. Google confirmed the development in a statement sent to media outlets, having issued a vanilla response to inquiries about her departure, without attempting to clarify the circumstances that led to it. Ms. Bryant spent more than a quarter of a century at Intel where it was considered one of its top executives, with her hiring being touted as a major win for Google in late 2017.
Sudden senior management departures that come shortly after their appointments often signal that their actors received more lucrative bids elsewhere, and with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich unexpectedly resigning last month, Ms. Bryant's name is now being floated around the industry as one of his possible successors. For the time being, the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker is being led by interim CEO Robert Swan, also the company's Chief Financial Officer. The development is a major loss for Google Cloud that's still behind Microsoft's Azure division and Amazon Web Services in terms of market share, according to numerous industry trackers. Ms. Bryant, twice named on Fortune's "Most Powerful Women in Business" list, was a major addition to Google Cloud last year, with her hiring being seen as a massive statement of intent on the company's part.
Google's cloud service unit may now be looking to make a comparably significant hiring in the near term or possibly even look toward major acquisitions, something that it has yet to make under CEO Diane Greene. While previously described as frugal by some analysts, Ms. Green recently suggested she's simply on the lookout for the right M&A fit, having said she wouldn't have minded snatching GitHub from Microsoft if that scenario was a realistic possibility. Google is still frequently touting cloud technologies and artificial intelligence as its two main focus points meant to shape the company's business vision over the next decade and beyond.