Google just made a very smart hire in its quest to topple Amazon in the cloud

Google has hired Sam Ramji, the CEO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, to serve as a senior executive under Google Cloud boss Diane Greene, Business Insider has learned.

Cloud Foundry is an increasingly popular technology in programmer circles, providing developers with a set of tools that help them deliver code at the same breakneck pace and tremendous scale as Google or Facebook. As CEO of the non-profit foundation that oversees the project, Ramji is a very visible figure in that community.

Prior to the Cloud Foundry Foundation, Ramji served as Chief Strategy Officer of Apigee, a publicly-traded company that Google recently snapped up for $625 million. Even after stepping down from his executive role, Ramji remained as advisor to Apigee.

And before Apigee, Ramji spent 5 years as a Microsoft executive, from 2004 to 2009, helping refine their outreach to software developers. At Microsoft, Ramji’s job was to oversee the company’s efforts around open source technologies like the free Linux operating system — during a period when the company was still wary of any non-Microsoft tech.

All of which to say that Ramji has been around the block a few times when it comes to building technologies that appeal to developers.

Given that Google Cloud has been looking to win a lot of support from those same developers as it works to compete in the cloud with the leading Amazon Web Services, Ramji is a smart hire that can talk the talk and walk the walk with customers.

Google and Ramji did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

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