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Google Continues Shakeup by Splitting Maps-Commerce Unit

By - Source: The Wall Street Journal | B 11 comments

Google shuffles more management and separates two units.

It's a Google business shakeup this week, as the company first revealed that Andy Rubin was stepping down as the head of Android, and then announced that its much-loved Google Reader RSS client would be shut down this summer. Now sources claim that senior vice president Jeff Huber will be stepping down as the head of its mapping and commerce unit.

Google is seemingly on top of the world, commanding both the smartphone and tablet sectors. It's also leading the search engine market, and is gearing up to launch an augmented reality device that will change how consumers access their email and social needs. But recent events are causing some concern as to what's going on at Android HQ this week.

The latest report in the two-part management shift stems from The Wall Street Journal that claims that Jeff Huber has stepped aside as head of Google's mapping and commerce unit. Furthermore, it will be split up into two units, while Huber will be shifted over to Google X, the department run by Google Glass lead Sergey Brin.

According to unnamed sources, the mapping unit will become part of the Google search team, which is led by Alan Eustace. The commerce unit will be moved into the advertising group led by Susan Wojcicki. The move was announced internally around the same time CEO Larry Page informed employees about Rubin stepping down from the Android throne.

The paper points out that the management changes reduces the overall number of core product-group chiefs from seven to five: Pichai (Android, Chrome), Eustace (Search), Wojcicki (Advertising), Gundotra (Google+), and Kamangar (YouTube). The move regarding Huber was less of a surprise than Rubin, sources said.

Huber joined Google in 2003 and moved up the corporate ladder to run the software engineering part of Google's advertising business (AdWords, AdSense). Once Larry Page took the reins of Google, Huber was one of several engineers to be promoted to Senior Vice President and was thus assigned to the former mapping/commerce unit.

On Thursday, Larry Page said that Sundar Pichai, the head of Google's Chrome division, which includes the web browser and operating system, will take Rubin's place as the head of Android development in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps. Rubin decided it was time to hand over the Android controls and start a "new chapter" within Google, Page said.

 

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  • 1 Hide
    Shin-san , March 17, 2013 6:08 PM
    Hard to say if this is good or not. I think it might be good because Google was starting to get driven by advertisements and social networking.
  • -1 Hide
    dimar , March 17, 2013 6:41 PM
    Google needs to solve the Android fragmentation problem once and for all! Google should give him 6 months, and if it's not done, should replace him without someone else, until the problem is solved.
  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , March 17, 2013 7:05 PM
    dimarGoogle needs to solve the Android fragmentation problem once and for all! Google should give him 6 months, and if it's not done, should replace him without someone else, until the problem is solved.

    It's interesting that people seem to think that the many versions of Android and variety of hardware is a problem for mobile devices while not for Windows and x86 PCs.
  • Display all 11 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , March 18, 2013 12:17 AM
    An organization should be dynamic. Look at M$, had barely changed since Gates gave the helm to Balmer, now they are way behind and barely catching up.
  • 0 Hide
    EddieLomax , March 18, 2013 3:46 AM
    "and is gearing up to launch an augmented reality device that will change how consumers access their email and social needs"

    Much like the Sinclair C5 revolutionised the transport market ;) 
  • 3 Hide
    mjv1121 , March 18, 2013 5:05 AM
    Don't go thinking that Larry Page got stupid overnight - there is strategy in these changes. Rubin and Huber both moving to X : they are moving their top talent to X, something big/important is afoot, at least with regard to Google's plans.
  • -2 Hide
    mjv1121 , March 18, 2013 5:10 AM
    Don't go thinking that Larry Page got stupid overnight - there is strategy in these changes. Rubin and Huber both moving to X : they are moving their top talent to X, something big/important is afoot, at least with regard to Google's plans.
  • 0 Hide
    frank_drebin , March 18, 2013 10:51 AM
    handoff to Pichai - that's the beginning of the end of Android -> maintenance phase
  • 0 Hide
    tokencode , March 18, 2013 2:22 PM
    jhansonxiIt's interesting that people seem to think that the many versions of Android and variety of hardware is a problem for mobile devices while not for Windows and x86 PCs.



    Your comparison makes no sense, fragmentation does not mean different versions such as Windows XP, Windows 7,8 , it means different versions of the SAME version. Example being Ice Cream sandwich for Samsung phones versus Ice Cream Sandwich for HTC phones. The only real examples I can think of for Windows would be Windows ME and 2000, or Windows RT/ Windows 8.
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , March 18, 2013 3:04 PM
    dimarGoogle needs to solve the Android fragmentation problem once and for all! Google should give him 6 months, and if it's not done, should replace him without someone else, until the problem is solved.
    Their rules for Jellybean will help, but it may take 1-2 years before it's adopted to where it'll make a difference
  • 0 Hide
    john15v18 , March 19, 2013 7:24 PM
    Quote:
    Your comparison makes no sense, fragmentation does not mean different versions such as Windows XP, Windows 7,8 , it means different versions of the SAME version. Example being Ice Cream sandwich for Samsung phones versus Ice Cream Sandwich for HTC phones. The only real examples I can think of for Windows would be Windows ME and 2000, or Windows RT/ Windows 8.


    ....What, you mean fragmentation like windows msstyles?...windowsblinds...etc...
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