Page praised Gundotra, whose departure is immediate.
"Vic cut his teeth on our mobile apps and developer relations, turning Google's disparate efforts into something great … And, walking onto the stage at I/O last year, it was amazing to see developers so excited about Google," Page posted on Google+. "These were vintage Vic projects. Then Vic 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 his hard work and passion."
Page also noted that the search giant would continue to invest in Google+, although he gave no specifics. But, according to sources, he has picked a current Google+ exec — VP of engineering David Besbris — to replace Gundotra.
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A Google spokesperson would not confirm who was taking over Google+, but, notably, it's not Gundotra's top lieutenant, Google+ product head Bradley Horowitz. Sources did note that Horowitz — who has been at Google+ from the start — was a top candidate for the job.
Besbris has been at Google since 2008, after nearly a decade at AOL. He doesn't have a huge public presence online, but — according to Google+ — he apparently likes photographing flowers and watching music cover videos on YouTube, and is a fan of the San Francisco 49ers.
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The departure of Gundotra will have wider repercussions on what's next for Google+ and also marks an interesting moment for leadership at the company.
Gundotra — one of the more vocal of Google execs and willing to take aim at rivals publicly, often in colorful speeches — had a long history at Google, which he joined in 2007 after 15 years at Microsoft. Prior to Google+, he led Google's mobile and developer relations teams, pushing a range of apps and other mobile initiatives, such as turn-by-turn directions, in the early days of the shift to mobile.