New Google cloud boss Thomas Kurian warns, 'You will see us competing much more aggressively'

Key Points
  • In November Google named Kurian as the successor to Diane Greene as its cloud chief.
  • Google's public cloud is winning more contracts worth more than $1 million.
  • Kurian talked about Google's cloud strategy in his first public appearance as the company's cloud CEO.
Thomas Kurian
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google will invest even more in sales for its cloud business, said its new chief, former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian, in his first appearance in his new role on Tuesday.

"You will see us accelerate the growth even faster than we have to date," Kurian said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco. Previously, he said, Google nearly quadrupled its sales and distribution functions.

The comments come as Google looks to challenge the cloud market leaders, Amazon and Microsoft.

"We are hiring some of the best talent from around the industry to grow our sales organization, and you will see us competing much more aggressively as we go forward," said Kurian, who in September left Oracle as its president of product development and in November was named as the new Google Cloud CEO to replace Diane Greene.

At Oracle Kurian was in charge of a 35,000-person team focused on software development across 32 countries, according to his LinkedIn profile. Now he's in charge of Google's overall cloud business, including the Google Cloud Platform public cloud and the G Suite productivity apps for business.

At the conference, Kurian highlighted several products and pointed to several Google cloud customers using those products, including BNP Paribas, the city of Los Angeles, Home Depot, KeyBank and Telegraph Media Group.

Now the company will focus more on individual industries like financial services and work more with channel partners, Kurian said. The company is also introducing a Cloud For Life program to keep existing customers and bring in new ones.

"I talked to some of largest companies and said, 'Why did you choose Google?' And uniformly, the feedback I got is, 'By far the best technology in the market, the technology is amazing, I've never seen anything like it.' This is what I heard over and over again," Kurian said.

It's not clear how much revenue comes from each half.

"In terms of growth, cloud does continue to deliver sizable revenue growth, driven by GCP; and GCP does remain one of the fastest growing businesses across Alphabet," Alphabet's chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, said on the company's fourth-quarter earnings call. "We've doubled the number of GCP contracts greater than $1 million. We're also seeing early nice uptick in the number of deals that are greater than $100 million and really pleased with the success and penetration there."

But unlike market leader Amazon, Google hasn't specified exactly how much revenue it gets each quarter -- just that it gets more than $1 billion per quarter, between the public cloud and the cloud apps, combined. Amazon's cloud revenue was $7.43 billion last quarter, the company reported.

In a question-and-answer session, one person asked for a financial update, and Kurian declined to elaborate. He said that Porat and Google CEO Sundar Pichai will disclose more "if they choose to."

WATCH: Google Cloud CEO Greene being replaced by Oracle exec Thomas Kurian

Google Cloud CEO Greene being replaced by Oracle exec Thomas Kurian