Urs Holzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google LLC, has stepped down from his role, according to a CNBC report. In an internal memo, Holzle announced that he is stepping down and transitioning to a reduced role within the company.
Holzle will be succeeded by Chris Vonderhaar, who brings 13 years of experience from AWS, where he held various roles in data centre operations. Vonderhaar resigned from his position as VP of AWS Data Centre Community in May, where he oversaw the design, planning, construction, and operations of AWS data centres.
Vonderhaar joined Google Cloud as the Vice President of Demand & Supply Management on July 12, reported by GeekWire.
Holzle, who joined Google in 1999 as the eighth employee, has held prominent engineering positions in both Google and its cloud division, Google Cloud. Currently, he reports directly to Thomas Kurian, the CEO of Google Cloud.
In an email to employees on Tuesday, Holzle shared his plans to prioritise a limited number of technical assignments at a time, while also providing guidance. This will involve clarifying technical AI processes, fostering discussions, and promoting faster decision-making, according to the report.
Google has been directing its engineering and innovation efforts toward artificial intelligence (AI) this year, with a particular emphasis on generative AI. During the Google I/O 2023 event on May 10, Google CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged that the company is experiencing a significant turning point in AI, highlighting the importance of introducing new products.
In another reorganisation within Google's artificial intelligence and research teams in April, Jeff Dean, who has been leading Google’s AI initiatives for a long time, transitioned to the role of “chief scientist” while also being classified as an “individual contributor.”
The resignation trend continues at Google, with Mark Lucovsky, the head of Google’s AR division’s operating systems, announcing his departure on July 10. In tweet, Lucovsky cited the lack of a stable vision and commitment within the company as the reason for his decision.
I have decided to step away from my role at Google, where I was Senior Director of Engineering, responsible for OS and Software Platform for AR and XR devices. The recent changes in AR leadership and Google’s unstable commitment and vision have weighed heavily on my decision.— mark lucovsky (@marklucovsky) July 10, 2023
In another high-profile exit, Google's head of VR Clay Bavor had also resigned from his role in February this year. Furthermore, Google has abandoned its plans for developing its own AR glasses, codenamed Project Iris.