Cloud is an ever-growing business, and Google clearly sees that having a pro at the helm will help its ambitions, especially in a market like India, where the internet proliferation and access to enterprise business, as well as consumers is slowly moving to the cloud.
Announcing that decision, Greene said that Google would not have sought the Maven contract if company officials had anticipated the criticism from employees and that the decision was made when Google was more aggressively going after military work. Greene will continue in her role until January and will retain a seat on the Alphabet board.
When Greene began as CEO, she was critical of Google's cloud product, saying it needed audit logs, improved security controls, peer-to-peer networking and compliance.
Now at Google Cloud, Kurian will be responsible for clawing back market share from the cloud leaders AWS, Microsoft and IBM, something he wasn't able to do at Oracle.
Greene, 63, will remain CEO through January, working with Kurian, who will join the Alphabet Inc. unit November 26.
In her blog post, Greene highlighted some of these personal achievements, including the establishment of "a training and professional services organisation and partnering organisations".
Reflecting on her time leading Google Cloud, Greene praised staff and commented on the "enormous opportunity ahead" in the cloud space. But he had a hard time transitioning the company to Cloud computing and Oracle struggled to gain much traction against Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure. That kind of "virtual machine" software is one of the technologies that make computing clouds efficient and relatively low-priced.
Google Cloud still lags behind the cloud market leaders, but has been able to tell some big success stories under Greene's leadership, including a whole company migration by Spotify and a $5 billion, five-year commitment from social media company Snapchat.
The change in leadership caps a turbulent three years for Greene, who was brought on to expand Google's cloud computing business. He'll now have a chance to try it again. People familiar with Kurian's time at Oracle said he adheres to a top-down model of management, which may be at odds with Google's more collaborative work environment.
Kurian climbed through the ranks of the software maker by spearheading products that accelerated sales growth, such as middleware, but got his start as a consultant at McKinsey & Co.
Kurian stepped down from Oracle in September.