Create a social network or risk everything.
That was the original pitch for Google’s Facebook rival, Google+, a refrain hammered over and over by the social network’s chief architect, Vic Gundotra, in meetings with the company’s top brass
Gundotra, described by colleagues we spoke with as charismatic and politically-savvy, eventually persuaded Larry Page, the Google cofounder who returned as CEO at the beginning of 2011 after a decade behind the scenes, to turn the company upside down for this cause.
“Vic was just this constant bug in Larry’s ear: ‘Facebook is going to kill us. Facebook is going to kill us,'” says a former Google executive. “I am pretty sure Vic managed to frighten Larry into action. And voila: Google+ was born.” Read more…