Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) management says Vic Gundotra, who headed up their social networking efforts by creating Google+, is leaving effective immediately. Re/code reported his departure, saying that a spokesperson for the company confirmed his departure and that CEO Larry Page sent a memo to staff members about it.

Vic Gundotra

Page: “Vic built Google+ from nothing”

In a statement Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) provided to Re/code, Larry Page had many good things to say about Vic Gundotra. He expressed gratefulness for his work and passion for software. He also emphasized that they will keep investing in Google+, although he declined to say what sorts of investments they would be making.

Re/code reports that their sources have indicated that Page has already selected Gundotra’s replacement. He reportedly selected David Besbris, Google+ vice president of engineering, to take Gundotra’s place. Sources also told the website that while Gundotra’s top lieutenant Bradley Horowitz was one of the top contenders for the spot, but he did not receive it. However, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) would not confirm who would be replacing Gundotra.

At this point it isn’t clear where he will be going next. A post on the website Secret last week indicated that he had been interviewing with other companies. However, Re/code’s sources said he didn’t have any plans immediately for another job

Where does Google+ go now?

Former Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt said in 2011 that he knew he had missed out on social networking. Under Gundotra’s hands though, the search giant was able to create its own social network. It has never been able to truly take on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), but it works in a different enough way to attract hundreds of millions of users. He came up with the idea of circles, which allows Google+ users to share different posts with different groups of people so they can limit which of their connections see which post.

Also social markets tend to like Google+ because the pages rank well in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s own search engine.