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kurian

Thomas Kurian ’90 succeeded Diane Greene as Google’s cloud chief in November 2018.

Photo courtesy of Hartmann Studios


On Wednesday, April 10, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian ’90 announced the creation of Google Cloud for Retail, an AI platform built to help retailers with tasks such as predicting sales and making product recommendations. This is part of Kurian’s plan to improve Google Cloud’s enterprises and target specific industries in the retail sector.

Kurian’s primary competitor is Amazon, with CEO Jeff Bezos ’86 at its head. Google Cloud is already collaborating with companies that compete against Amazon, such as Target, Shopify, Kohl’s, and Bed Bath & Beyond. 

During a press briefing, Kurian said that Google Cloud was working toward helping companies in a wide range of industries, spanning from retail and media to healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services. 

Kurian also stated that this is Google Cloud’s first time launching an AI program with an aim toward business processes of specialized industries.

Google Cloud for Retail will comprise hosting and search capabilities.

The hosting capabilities will provide extra support needed by company websites at peak traffic times, such as Black Friday, to help protect a company’s revenue and overall brand from a website crash. 

The search capabilities will involve a mobile app in which consumers can take pictures of items that appeal to them and find similar items sold by that particular retailer. It will also track consumers’ online behavior to customize their product recommendations.

Google Cloud will also consist of real-time inventory management and analytics capabilities, allowing retailers to stay up-to-date on their products in stock.

At Google Cloud’s annual conference, Kurian emphasized Google Cloud’s commitment to being the best possible partner. He listed two ways he thought the company could achieve this goal, saying, “The first way is bringing expertise to help you on that journey. The second is to be the easiest cloud provider to do business with.”

Kurian also stated that “our work in these industries would not be complete if we didn't build our enterprise capability.”

Kurian succeeded Diane Greene as Google’s cloud chief in January 2019.  

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