Vic Gundotra, Google's senior vice president of social and the man behind the company's Google+ social network, recently announced that he's leaving Google. Gundotra worked for the firm for 8 years.

"I'm overwhelmed when I think about the leadership of Larry Page and what he empowered by to do while at Google," Gundotra wrote on a farewell Google+ post. "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." Gundotra said he's "excited about what's next" and that he looks "forward to the journey yet to come."

Larry Page also responded to Gundotra on Google+. "You cut your teeth on our mobile apps and developer relations, turning our disparate efforts into something great," Page said. "Then you build Google+ from nothing. There are few people with the courage to start something like that and I am very grateful for all your hard work and passion." Page also promised that Google will continue to work on "great new experiences for the ever increasing number of Google+ fans." That suggests the social network isn't going anywhere.

Gundotra didn't offer any hint where his next steps will lead him, but his departure from Google is effective today.