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Pipped to the post: Google Cloud nabs Salesforce exec to lead UK and Ireland business

Pip White among bunch of new EMEA hires at Chocolate Factory offshoot

Pip White, senior veep and general manager of industry sales at Salesforce, has been nabbed by Google to head up its Cloud business in the UK and Ireland.

Scheduled to rock up at the Chocolate Factory in September, White will be leading the unit as Google Cloud develops its "go-to-market sales operations" in Europe, the company said.

She is also charged with developing a sales strategy across the region, where Google's cloudy offshoot has bagged a few high-profile customers including Lloyds Banking Group, Vodafone and The Football Association but still lags well behind AWS and Microsoft in terms of market share of the public infrastructure cloud.

She looks set to replace Alan Coad, who has run Google Cloud in the UK and Ireland for the past two-and-a-bit years and is leaving the organisation.

Prior to working for Salesforce, White spent 13 years at HP Enterprise, most recently as global sales veep. She cut her teeth in tech marketing in the late 1990s at agency Anderson Baillie.

The appointment follows a gaggle of Google arrivals in its EMEA region including Sanj Bhayro as new chief operating officer and Chris Ciauri as president. Google Cloud has also appointed SAP chief product officer Abdul Razack as veep of technology solutions.

Razack is set to take the reins of Google Cloud's strategy in infrastructure, application modernisation, data analytics and cloud artificial intelligence (AI).

Rob Enslin, president for global customer operations at Google Cloud, who also landed at the company from SAP, said:

"Abdul brings a wealth of engineering and innovation experience to the role. He will be instrumental in defining our cloud solutions and furthering our engineering capabilities as we work hand in hand with customers to help them solve their trickiest business challenges."

Nice bigwigs you've got there, Google

Google Cloud is bound to raise eyebrows by making significant appointments from enterprise application companies when it doesn't have an enterprise application business of the same scale.

Still, it gives an indication of how a company struggling to make inroads in the cloud infrastructure market might look to spread its tendrils into data, analytics and applications to compete with AWS and Azure.

Alastair Edwards, chief analyst at Canalys, told The Reg that Google is the "challenger brand" in Europe and remains "way behind" arch rivals Microsoft and AWS in term of market share.

However, customers want to multiple clouds services, albeit operated from a single management system, and there are specific verticals, retail for example, where some customers don't want to work with AWS.

"Going up against those in terms of computing power or cloud infrastrucutre is not where Google will necessarily win; where it will win is the ability to support hybrid environments with Anthos and in specific verticals."

Public sector, healthcare, and financial services were other areas that Google may look to heavily target. Google this week signed a framework agreement with the UK government to sell its cloud services to public sector buyers at discounted prices.

Edwards said Google is "engaging with the channel more effectively" - both resellers and system integrators - to take its services to market, and this was missing in the past.

According to Canalys, customer spending on UK cloud infrastructure services reached $3.9bn in 2019. Google accounted for 6 per cent of this with AWS and Microsoft holding a combined 53 per cent market share. ®

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