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Google Apps guru dumps Choc Factory for sugar daddy

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Google's product veep Dave Girouard resigned from the company late last week to take on a job with a startup that is backed by Mountain View's venture capital wing.

Girouard, who had championed Google's Apps brands aimed at businesses, had worked at the world's largest ad broker since 2004.

He revealed his departure on Google+ last Friday:

It's true. After eight wonderful and life-altering years, I've decided to leave Google to pursue my own adventure.

I owe a lifetime of gratitude to +Larry Page +Sergey Brin and +Eric Schmidt and so many others at Google for giving me such an incredible opportunity.

Girouard is off to work at Google Ventures-funded Upstart.com, which lets startups "raise capital in return for a small portion of your future income. So you can do what you were meant to do". The outfit is also backed by Kleiner Perkins and NEA.

In the mid-'90s Girouard worked at Apple as a product manager, before moving to a similar role at Virage – which is now owned by Autonomy – in 1997.

At Google, the exec had been responsible for growing the company's cloud apps' biz, including overseeing the development, sales, marketing and customer support teams at Mountain View.

He was ultimately tasked with trying to snatch some of Microsoft's massive market share in the office productivity software game where Redmond continues to reign supreme.

Google, in contrast, derives very little in overall sales from its Apps effort.

To underline that fact: In 2010, 96 per cent of its $29bn in revenue came from online ads.

With Google Apps, the company has sold subscriptions to enterprise-sized firms and spent plenty of cash on print ads and billboards punting the five-year-old service.

Girouard told The Register in early 2011 that the products were finally starting to "mature and get better". But some might view his departure as a sign that the Apps wing of the Google empire is failing to deliver, perhaps in part because unlike so much of the Chocolate Factory, it's a business that is not underpinned by ads. ®

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