Changing of the Google Cloud guard as Rick Harshman exits

Changing of the Google Cloud guard as Rick Harshman exits

Executive departs after almost five years running Asia Pacific

Rick Harshman

Rick Harshman

Credit: Google Cloud

Rick Harshman has vacated his role as vice president of Asia Pacific at Google Cloud, exiting the technology giant after almost five years with Indian leader Karan Bajwa appointed as regional replacement.

Since joining the vendor in April 2016 - following more than six years at Amazon Web Services (AWS) - Harshman departs to pursue a “new opportunity” which has yet to be revealed publicly.

During his tenure, Harshman shaped go-to-market efforts across the region through an executive recruitment drive designed to bring top enterprise and channel talent to Google Cloud, backed by an expanding base of customers.

Most recently, Harshman spearheaded the launch of a new region in Jakarta, in a landmark move designed to help businesses overcome traditional barriers to cloud adoption in Indonesia. This was in addition to rolling out availability zones in Seoul with planned expansion to Melbourne and Delhi expected 2021.

Backed by a strong growth trajectory under Harshman's leadership, key Google Cloud customers include ANZ Bank, Samsung Electronics, Go-Jek and Tokopedia, in addition to Optus, Tech Mahindra, XL Axiata and Wipro among others.

“Rick was instrumental in building a solid foundation for Google Cloud in Asia Pacific and hiring top talent to fuel the phenomenal growth of our regional business, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” said Rob Enslin, president of Sales at Google Cloud.

Karan Bajwa (Google Cloud)Credit: Google Cloud
Karan Bajwa (Google Cloud)

As a result, Bajwa will assume an expanded role having joined the business in March 2020 as managing director of India. Currently based in Gurgaon, India, Channel Asia understands that Bajwa will relocate to Singapore at some point during 2021 while continuing to lead Google Cloud in India until a new senior leader is appointed.

In his new expanded role, Bajwa will lead all revenue and go-to-market operations for Google Cloud across the region - including Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Google Workspace - alongside field sales, partner and customer engineering divisions, reporting directly to Enslin.

“Under Karan's leadership, Google Cloud in India has grown from strength to strength and he’s helped advance the digital transformation journeys of many large Indian organisations across industries and expanded our partner community,” Enslin added. “He brings tremendous management and sales experience with him to this regional role, and we’re thrilled to have him at the helm of our Asia Pacific business.”

Drawing on more than 30 years of leadership experience, Bajwa previously served as managing director of India and South Asia at IBM having previously spent nine years in executive positions at Microsoft and almost two years at Cisco.

“With the disruptions of 2020 behind us, a true test of 2021 will be how companies re-platform and build on the cloud not only for resilience but agility and innovation, and I’m excited for the opportunity to lead Google Cloud’s business in Asia Pacific to maximise this next phase of growth,” Bajwa said.

The changing of the guard comes weeks after Google Cloud appointed Ruma Balasubramanian as managing director of Southeast Asia, replacing Tim Synan who relocated to Italy with the technology giant.

Effective early December, Singapore-based Balasubramanian is tasked with driving the vendor’s go-to-market strategy across customer and partner segments, in addition to delivering operational execution and building on growing enterprise momentum within the region.

Balasubramanian joined Google Cloud from Cisco, having spent more than eight years in a number of regional management roles, most recently as vice president and chief transformation officer across Asia Pacific and Japan. Prior to Cisco, Balasubramanian was vice president and general manager of then Hewlett Packard’s Enterprise Services division, following more than a decade at EDS Corporation.

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