Vic Gundotra, the Google SVP of Engineering that brought Google+ to the world, is leaving the company. Gundotra took to his creation to publicly announce his departure in a post title "And Then". He thanked the Google leadership for their support over his 8 year tenure, as well as the Google+ team that he led:
I'm also forever in debt to the Google+ team. This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many. The growth of active users is staggering, and speaks to the work of this team. But it doesn't tell you what kind of people they are. They are invincible dreamers. I love them. And I will miss them dearly.
He also said that he is "excited about what's next. But this isn't the day to talk about that." It seems he has something lined up, but what exactly, we're not sure.
Google CEO Larry Page responded to the Google+ posting with a comment of his own, saying:
You cut your teeth on our mobile apps and developer relations, turning our disparate efforts into something great. When I first used turn-by-turn navigation, it blew me away. And, walking onto the stage at I/O last year, it was amazing to see developers so excited about Google. These were vintage Vic projects. Then you built 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. I really enjoy using Google+ on a daily basis, especially the auto awesome movies which I really love sharing with my family and friends. Good luck with your next project after Google. In the meantime we'll continue working hard to build great new experiences for the ever increasing number of Google+ fans.
A Google spokesperson has confirmed to Gigaom that previously-rumored candidate Dave Besbris will be taking the helm as the head of Google+. There's no indication that Besbris will leave his current role as VP of Engineering at Google.
We'll miss having Vic around and his approach to building Google products, and look forward to whatever he has planned next. Even if it just spending some much deserved time off with his family.