Global cloud computing services provider Google Cloud has on Monday announced the appointment of Mark Micallef as Managing Director of its business in Southeast Asia.

Google Cloud said in a statement that Micallef will be responsible for driving regional strategy, direction, team development, and overall revenue performance for Google Cloud and Google Workspace, and working with teams across Google to help customers reimagine their business and industry through bold and responsible artificial intelligence (AI) innovation.

According to the statement, Micallef will report to Karan Bajwa, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Google Cloud.

Micallef joins Google Cloud following leadership roles at Anaplan, Cloudera, Citrix, and Trend Micro, bringing more than 28 years of technical, sales, and management experience.

Across his career in technology leadership, Micallef has helped multiple businesses grow and scale in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, Greater China, India, and Korea.

“Southeast Asia continues to be one of Google Cloud’s most important and high growth regions globally,

“Micallef joins us at a time where technology advancements are presenting this region with the opportunity to leapfrog into the AI economy – the same way it became a digital and mobile-first economy that’s on track to be worth more than US$300 billion by 2025,” said Karan Bajwa, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Google Cloud.

“We are excited to welcome a leader with a growth mindset and deep appreciation of the diverse needs across markets, as we continue to empower organizations to achieve transformative outcomes with best-in-class, AI-infused solutions for data, infrastructure, productivity, and security,” he added.

Meanwhile, Micallef said that with the current momentum surrounding AI, especially generative AI, business leaders want to know how they can make the most of this technology to transform their operations, disrupt industries, and realize new growth opportunities.

“I’m thrilled to be joining a company that’s been at the forefront of this field for over two decades, and to be leading a highly talented team across Southeast Asia as we enable organizations of all sizes to innovate quickly, securely, and responsibly with enterprise-grade cloud AI models, platforms, and products suites,” he said.

It is noted that Google Cloud has been gaining mindshare and market share with enterprises in Southeast Asia, including those operating in regulated industries.

Leading companies like AI Singapore, Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata), Doctor Anywhere, Globe Telecom, GoTo Group, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison, Jiva, Nanyang Technological University, Ninja Van, Ocean Network Express, One Mount Group, PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Bank BRI), PT BNI Life Insurance (BNI Life), PT Meratus Line (Meratus), Purple Ventures Co., Ltd. (Robinhood), Salim Group, StarHub, TD Tawandang, Telkom Indonesia, and Tiki have been turning to Google Cloud for the modern infrastructure, pre-trained models, and developer-friendly tools they need to deploy AI quickly and securely, and to enable growth and solve their most critical business challenges.

Google Cloud most recently announced strategic partnerships with the Singapore Government—the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)—to develop AI for Singapore, and AI from Singapore for the world.

The company has also unveiled new solutions and resources that are now available to organizations across Southeast Asia to help them accelerate their AI journeys.

These include seven new generative AI skills development courses, available at no cost under its Cloud Skills Boost Program.

The solutions also include the general availability of generative AI support on Vertex AI.

This consists of a Model Garden that gives enterprises’ data scientists and AI practitioners access to pre-trained generative AI models, and Generative AI Studio to help them customize these models and embed them into internal or consumer-facing applications and websites.

The Model Garden hosts over 60 models from Google and its partners.

This includes models for summarizing and translating text in multiple languages, maintaining an ongoing conversation, turning audio into text, creating studio-grade images from text descriptions, and generating and fixing software code.

To supports seed to Series A startups who use AI as the core technology to develop primary products or solutions, the Google for AI Startups Cloud Program is available to cover their cloud costs of up to $350,000 over two years.

For pre-seed AI-first startups, the program provides up to $2,000 in cloud credits to help fund their development of proof-of-concepts and showcase their products to prospective investors and customers.

Google Cloud and MCI collaborate to advance Singapore’s national AI strategy