Vivek Gundotra, chief of Google's social networking venture 'Google+', is leaving the Internet company after nearly eight years.
Gundotra, who was serving as the Senior Vice President (Social) at Google, announced his departure in a post on Google Plus, a social network that was created about three years ago.
"Today I'm announcing my departure from Google after almost 8 years. I have been incredibly fortunate to work with the amazing people of Google," he said.
He, however, did not offer any reasons for his departure nor did he reveal what he plans to do next.
"I am excited about what's next.
“But this isn't the day to talk about that.
“This is a day to celebrate the past eight years.
“And smile. And to look forward to the journey yet to come," he added.
Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page also praised Gundotra in his own Plus post.
"Vic -- thank you for a tremendous almost eight years at Google.
“You cut your teeth on our mobile apps and developer relations, turning our disparate efforts into something great . . . You 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," Page said.
Google describes Google+ as a ‘social layer’ for enhancing many of its online properties and is not simply a social networking website.
Although it boasts of over 500 million users, Google is still struggling to catch up with Facebook, its biggest rival, which has close to 1.3 billion users.
Before the Plus project, Gundotra has helped Google build some of the early apps for its Android operating system and has also led the drive to persuade outside programmers to create services suited for Android.
An Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, graduate, Gundotra has also worked with Microsoft for 15 years.
His duties there included promoting Microsoft's APIs and platforms to independent developers and helping to develop a strategy for Windows Live online services.
Image: Vivek Gundotra