Alphabet Inc.’s Google Cloud today announced a major reshuffle within its go-to market organization, aiming to boost its competitiveness ahead of what is likely to be a tough year for technology firms.
The company announced that it’s elevating Adaire Fox-Martin into the role of president of Google Cloud Go-to-Market Organization, a new position within the company that effectively sees her become its top sales executive. The move comes as Google Cloud’s top U.S. sales executive Kirsten Kliphouse departs the company.
In her new role, Fox-Martin will assume many of the responsibilities of former Google Cloud President Robert Enslin, who departed the company last May to become co-chief executive of UiPath Inc. and had not been replaced.
Fox-Martin’s appointment in the new role is aimed at “unifying global go-to-market organization,” a spokesperson for Google Cloud said, and will see her focus on global sales as well as service and support. Fox-Martin joined the company in 2021 from SAP SE and was the president of Google Cloud International and led Google’s Ireland office.
“Adaire is a seasoned leader with more than 30 years of experience in sales, services, support and customer engagement,” the spokesperson said. “Google Cloud is one of the fastest-growing businesses within Alphabet, and bringing our global teams together will enable us to drive new levels of productivity and consistency across the organization, and deliver even greater value and improved experiences for our customers and partners.”
The story was first reported by The Information, which said Fox-Martin is replacing Enslin as Google Cloud’s top sales executive. However, Google says Fox-Martin’s new role is a new position, and that she will oversee a new operating model within the Go-to-Market Organization, assuming responsibility for customer service and support as well.
The changes were first announced in an internal memo sent to Google Cloud’s sales organization by its Chief Executive Thomas Kurian.
“Adaire has extensive, board-level industry experience in sales, services, support and customer engagement, across all regions in which Google cloud operates,” Kurian said. “She has a proven track record of bringing diverse teams together to deliver value and exceptional experiences for our customers and partners, and I look forward to the cohesiveness she will build within and across our organization going forward. Bringing our global teams together again will enable us to drive new levels of productivity and consistency across the organization.”
Charles King of Pund-IT Inc. told SiliconANGLE that Fox-Martin’s new job, overseeing global sales combined with services and support, is most likely about accountability, and ensuring that there’s an able administrator in place to make certain that the go-to-market team’s employees and their efforts remain on track.
“The fact that Fox-Martin’s job is a new role suggests that upper management determined that the sales, services and support groups were somehow out of sync,” King explained. “Enhancing profitability is always a hoped-for goal, but the bigger issues relate to better integrating those organizations and the improving the ways they work together.”
Kurian appears to be aiming to make Google Cloud’s sales organization more competitive at a time when growth in the cloud infrastructure and services industry is slowing as enterprise customers look for ways to trim costs and optimize their expenditure on the technologies they use. The slowing economy has also affected Google LLC’s ad business, with advertisers from most industries cutting back on their ad spending.
Google’s parent company Alphabet is feeling the strain too, and earlier this week announced its first layoffs, at its life sciences business unit Verily. There, it said it is laying off about 200 employees, amounting to 15% of its workforce, and cutting back on some of Verily’s more exploratory research projects.
With the cloud slowing down, competition with rivals such as Amazon Web Services Inc. and Microsoft Corp. is expected to heat up even. Today’s reorganization suggests Google Cloud feels that it can benefit from streamlining its go-to-market presence, and to that end it announced some additional executive changes.
The company said Michael Clark and Chris Sakalosky, who led sales for Google Cloud’s East region and healthcare and life sciences divisions, will become the new vice presidents of North America Regions and North America Strategic Industries, respectively. Meanwhile, Philip Moyer, previously vice president of strategic initiatives, will now be responsible for commercializing artificial intelligence products, Google said.
Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said Google Cloud’s leadership changes are not such a major surprise, as it’s normal for large enterprises to revisit their go-to-market operations ahead of a new financial year. “In Google Cloud’s case, it has decided that it will combine sales and services under one leader in Adaire Fox-Martin,” Mueller explained. “She is an experienced enterprise executive who held key positions at Oracle and SAP before joining Google. It’s yet another example of how Google Cloud is doing things differently from its competitors, and it remains to be seen how successful it will be.”