September 29, 2022

10 Things in Tech: Inside Google Cloud

You’re halfway there, readers. Today we’re taking you inside Google Cloud under Thomas Kurian’s leadership,…

You’re halfway there, readers. Today we’re taking you inside Google Cloud under Thomas Kurian’s leadership, and delivering some sad news about the iconic iPod Touch.

Let’s dive in.


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Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, facing opposite directions with Google Cloud logo, and cloud with lightning in background



Google; Ramin Talaie/Getty Images; Google Cloud; Insider


1. Inside Thomas Kurian’s three-year reign at Google Cloud. Kurian was hired to make the unit a promising revenue source for Alphabet, but employees say the unit’s growth has come with a price — becoming a stodgy, cut-throat “SAP 2.0.”

  • Insider spoke with more than 20 current and former employees about the company’s culture. Many pointed to mounting tensions inside Google Cloud, which has undergone a transformation in recent years. 
  • Since Kurian took the reins three years ago, the employees said the division has adopted the buttoned-up culture of old-guard software companies like Oracle, where Kurian spent 22 years making a name for himself.
  • Sources said Kurian’s approach has sown some internal dissent, reflected by a spate of senior departures, including six company vice presidents who quit this year alone.

Here’s what else employees told us.


In other news:

elon musk



Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


2. Elon Musk said he’ll reverse Twitter’s ban of former President Donald Trump. In an interview with the Financial Times, Musk expressed disdain for “permabans,” saying the company’s decision was “morally wrong and flat out stupid.” Everything else you need to know.

3. Shopify is working to retain talent with a pay overhaul. Stock-heavy compensation and the chance to work with revered tech alums have long been part of Shopify’s compensation package — but those benefits may no longer be cutting it as employees assess the talent market and the company’s decreasing stock price. Get the scoop on Shopify’s pay crisis.

4. Clearview AI is banned from selling its facial recognition tech to private US businesses. Per a settlement with the ACLU, Clearview AI — which maintains a database of more than 20 billion faces scraped from the internet, according to the company — is also restricted from selling software to any Illinois State agency. What else to know.

5. Introducing Elon Musk’s right-hand man. Musk entrusts his family office to Jared Birchall, a secretive and straightlaced ex-Morgan Stanley banker who is essentially the polar opposite of the impulsive billionaire. Meet the man running Musk’s affairs.

6. RIP, iPod Touch. After a solid 20-year run, the company announced it’d be selling the Touch, which is the last remaining model in its lineup of music players, “while supplies last.” Get the rundown on the end of an era.

7. Facebook workers fear that layoffs are coming. The company’s hiring freeze and stock market woes has some members of staff fearing the worst. Faceboook employees have told Insider what they think will happen next.

8. We explain what to do with your period-tracking app if Roe v. Wade is overturned. If Roe is overturned, it’s possible the companies behind the apps could hand user data to law enforcement, which would be able to subpoena the companies for data indicating a user had an abortion. Read an expert’s advice.


Odds and ends:

A 3D printed Habitat for Humanity house in Williamsburg, Virginia. The house is in front of trees. The lawn in front of it is bright green.



Alquist


9. This 3D printer is set to build 200 concrete homes in Virginia within the next five years. If you have plans to move to Pulaski, Virginia, the state’s growing tech hub, your new home could be part of the world’s largest 3D-printed construction project. Get a look at the massive project.

10. These online certificate programs can help you land an entry-level tech job. No need to pay for a degree or bootcamp — these programs, with courses in topics like IT support, digital marketing, and data analytics, can help you break into the industry. We’ve got the details.


What we’re watching today:

  • Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, starts today.
  • The Walt Disney Company, Toyota, and others are reporting earnings today. Keep up with earnings here.
  • The CyberLEO Summit, for emerging technologies in satellite, space, cybersecurity, and government, starts today.

Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.


Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email [email protected] or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.