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Former Oracle product chief Thomas Kurian replaces Diane Greene as Google Cloud CEO

Google Cloud’s CEO Diane Greene announced in a blog post that she will be stepping down from her role and former Oracle (ORCL) executive Thomas Kurian will be succeeding her. Thomas will be joining the company on November 26. Greene will continue as CEO till January 2019 to ensure the smooth transition. She will remain as a Director of the Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) board.

Thomas Kurian replaces Diane Greene as Google Cloud CEO

After joining Google’s Board in 2012, Diane joined Google full time in December 2015 as CEO of Google Cloud. Prior to Google, Diane co-founded and ran three successful technology companies: VMware. VXtreme and bebop, an enterprise SaaS startup acquired by Google.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said, “In a few short years, under Diane’s leadership, Cloud has become an incredible business built on Google’s decades of investment in infrastructure, data security, and AI.”

Google also witnessed another key executive’s resignation this week. According to Synced, Google Cloud AI’s Jia Li, who joined in 2016, resigned as head of research and development on Wednesday. During her three years with Google, Jia Li advanced the implementation of AI-enabled products on the Google Cloud Platform.

Thomas Kurian replaces Diane Greene as Google Cloud CEO

Thomas Kurian, who has got 22 years of experience at Oracle, most recently served as President of Product Development and resigned from Oracle in September 2018. Before resigning from Oracle, Kurian was taking a long leave. Reports stated that he had a difference of opinions with founder Larry Ellison over Oracle’s cloud business.

 

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Elon Musk’s two biggest ambitions at SpaceX

The name SpaceX makes you think big, and that’s no surprise. CEO Elon Musk does have big ambitions for his SpaceX company. Here are two such projects worth mentioning:

Starlink

The Starlink network aims to provide high-speed internet service to the entire planet at an optimal cost using thousands of low-Earth orbit satellites. SpaceX just received approval from the FCC to launch over 7,000 satellites for this purpose.

The company had received approval to launch over 4,000 satellites earlier in March. This will bring the total number of satellites in the network to around 12,000. SpaceX believes these satellites will make it possible to provide internet connections in rural areas and remote locations, and in February, the company launched two test satellites.

Starlink is being developed in Washington and is expected to take another five years or more to be completed. Although the total cost is estimated at around $10 billion, experts believe the amount is likely to increase going forward. SpaceX will also have to fulfil certain conditions related to the consumption of power and handling of space debris.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX looks to a $750-million leveraged loan

BFR

The BFR or Big Falcon Rocket is another one of Musk’s big plans. SpaceX intends BFR to be a nearly 350-foot tall reusable rocket that will replace the Falcon 9, Heavy and Dragon and bring all its engineering and resources into one system.

SpaceX is looking to launch the BFR in 2022 in a trip to Mars but securing funding has not been that easy. Earlier this month, Musk revealed plans to build a smaller version of the BFR that can be launched on a Falcon 9 booster.

This would help in determining and solving certain complicated aspects of the spacecraft which cannot be done in current conditions. The smaller model is likely to cost less and is expected to launch in 2019.

 

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