Cloud Wars CEO of the Year 2019: Thomas Kurian
Cloud Wars CEO of the Year 2019: Thomas Kurian

Cloud Wars CEO of the Year: Thomas Kurian of Google Cloud | Our Interview

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Thomas Kurian is the Cloud Wars CEO of the Year for 2019.

In just his first year at the helm, Kurian has helped fashion Google Cloud into a powerhouse that has not only all of the requisite capabilities of a world-class vendor but also leading skills and technologies in ML, AI, analytics, cybersecurity, hybrid cloud and more. But the CEO’s truly breakthrough achievement has been in harnessing that massive set of assets—plus others from across Google—to do not only great engineering, but to dazzle and delight customers facing truly existential and time-sensitive challenges.

I sat down with the Google Cloud CEO to talk through his incredible year.

In the interview: Thomas says that Google started the year determined to make the organization dramatically more customer-centric. Of course, helping Google Cloud customers deliver seamless experiences isn’t one-size-fits-all. For example, Thomas says, for a financial institution, are there better fraud detection solutions? If you talk to logistics and manufacturing companies, how can you optimize the location of the fleet?

Google Cloud solutions are about helping customers save money and do more with less. But they also have a loftier goal in mind. According to Thomas, it’s about creating that magic moment with a customer.

Thomas and I then turn to the pace of change in the world today. Thomas talks us through Google’s approach to helping customers navigate that change: namely, to create elegant solutions that help them improve the experience of all brand touch points in the easiest possible way. He says Google wants to enable organizations to be bold and brave – and to not feel afraid of ever-changing tech.

Throughout our conversation, Thomas and I touch on a number of Google Cloud customer examples. Whether it’s a hospital or a supply-chain manager, he says that he’s getting amazing feedback around how Google Cloud is helping to accelerate the pace of change and innovation.

Finally, Thomas shares his outlook on how Google Cloud can maintain its persistent evolution and expansion, while remaining patient. Thomas compares the task to running a marathon. Runners have lots of time between their big races, but they still have to to wake up every day prepared to work hard. So too with Google, he says: you have to be patient, but also have a sense of urgency and strong motivation.

Congratulations to Thomas and to Google Cloud for earning the designation of Cloud Wars CEO of the Year for 2019! Read more about why we picked Thomas.

You can also stream the audio-only version of this episode here: