Google+ chief quits after failing to rival Facebook


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The Independent Online

A Google executive who led the internet giant’s attempt to rival Facebook is to leave the company, according to a report.

Vic Gundotra was in charge of Google+ when it was launched in June 2011 and it has grown to some 300 million monthly users.

However, features such as strong privacy controls and free group video calls failed to persuade people to abandon Facebook in significant numbers.

Facebook said yesterday it had 1.3 billion monthly users, up 15 per cent on last year.

Mr Gundotra revealed he was leaving in a message on Google+, but did not say why or where he was going, the Financial Times reported.

He thanked his Google+ colleagues, describing them as “invincible dreamers”.

“This is a group of people who built social at Google against the scepticism of so many. The growth of active users is staggering, and speaks to the work of this team,” he said.

Larry Page, Google’s chief executive, said Mr Gundotra had built Google+ “from nothing”.

“There are few people with the courage and ability to start something like that and I am very grateful for all your hard work and passion,” Mr Page said - in his first public post on Google+ for a month.