Google + head Vic Gundotra is leaving the company after eight years in a move that raises doubts over the future of the social network.
Gundotra revealed he was leaving the company in a post on his Google+ page, which was headlined "and then..." and paid tribute to the work carried out by his team in the face of many critics.
"I'm overwhelmed when I think about the leadership of Larry Page and what he empowered me to do while at Google," he said. "From starting Google I/O, to being responsible for all mobile applications, to creating Google+, none of this would have happened without Larry's encouragement and support.
"I'm also forever in debt to the Google+ team. This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many.
"The growth of active users is staggering, and speaks to the work of this team. But it doesn't tell you what kind of people they are. They are invincible dreamers. I love them. And I will miss them dearly."
Many people have criticized the growth of Google+ because of how Google has effectively forced users to sign up. For example, the tech giant has made changes to YouTube in which users can only comment on videos if they have a Google+ account.
Google+ marketing chief Marvin Chow paid tribute to Gundotra by thanking him for how much he learned from him on both a personal and a professional level.
Going forward, Google+ will reportedly be seen internally as a standalone platform, rather than a product that competes with Facebook and Twitter. Sources told TechCrunch that Google is restructuring its Google+ team.
Google+ VP of engineering David Besbris will reportedly replace Gundotra ahead of Gundotra’s right hand man, Google+ product chief Bradley Horowitz.
A few days ago an anonymous user posted on Secret.ly, an app for tech insiders, that Gundotra is already interviewing for other jobs.
This story originally appeared on the website of Marketing, PRWeek’s sister publication at Haymarket Media.