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Google Cloud lures two key hires from SAP and rival Amazon Web Services (GOOG)

Google Cloud Vice President Abdul Razack
  • Google Cloud just lured two veteran and well-regarded cloud executives from SAP and rival Amazon Web Services.
  • Abdul Razack, who had been SAP's chief product officer, has joined Google Cloud as vice president in charge of engineering strategy.
  • Andi Gutmans, who had been analytics vice president at Amazon Web Services, will become vice president of engineering for Google's cloud database products.
  • Both hires come as Google tries to bolster its cloud business, which lags behind Amazon and Microsoft in market share. 
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Google just made two key hires, luring veteran cloud executives from SAP and rival Amazon Web Services to bolster its cloud business.
Abdul Razack, who was SAP's chief product officer, will now be Google Cloud's vice president of engineering strategy and Andi Gutmans, who was vice president of analytics at Amazon Web Services, will become vice president of engineering for Google's cloud database products.
The back-to-back hires underscore Google's bid to bolster its position in the cloud, the fast-growing enterprise tech trend that lets businesses run their networks and products on web-based platforms, instead of in-house data centers. Google has emerged as a major player in this market, though it lags behind market leaders Amazon and Microsoft.
"Abdul and Andi are two of the brightest minds in the business," Rob Enslin, president of Google Cloud's global customer operations, told Business Insider. "As core members of our engineering team, they will help define our product roadmap."
Razack spent 15 years at SAP where he helped lead the its cloud strategy and his goal at Google is to help cloud customers find value in its products and bring "resiliency and scale to businesses in these uncertain time," per a statement.
Analyst Ray Wang of Constellation Research described Razack as "an amazing product guy" who played an important role in rolling out Hana, SAP's database platform. Razack's departure from SAP comes shortly after the sudden departure of former co-CEO Jennifer Morgan. SAP declined to comment.
"He's rock solid and knows his stuff," Wang told Business Insider. "It'll be a great add in expanding real cloud enterprise talent at Google."
As for Gutmans, he spent over four years at Amazon Web Services and was instrumental in building out its cloud data warehousing and analytics capabilities. He helped lead initiatives like Open Distro for Elasticsearch, its open source version of the popular Elasticsearch search project. Open Distro had its detractors: In early 2019, Elastic CEO Shay Banon wrote a blog post about how he saw it as AWS co-opting Elastic's technology.
AWS had long been known for taking free software created or maintained by other smaller companies and selling it on its own cloud, while contributing little code back to the community. That being said, AWS had since started contributing more projects of its own, such as the virtualization-technology project Firecracker and the AI project Neo-AI.
A Google Cloud spokesperson confirmed Gutmans' new role at the company, which was first reported by the Information.
Wang said he expects the executive to play a key role in developing warehousing capabilities at Google Cloud.
Google Cloud's own cloud database offering, BigQuery, "is massively lacking," Wang said, hypothesizing that Gutmans' experience at Amazon will help the company fix it: "He's the guy to make it  happen."
Got a tip about Google Cloud or another tech company? Contact this reporter via email at bpimentel@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @benpimentel or send him a secure message through Signal at (510) 731-8429. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.
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