Jeff Huber, Senior Vice President of Geo and Commerce at Google, is stepping aside to join the Google X team, the ‘moonshot’ division currently run by company co-founder Sergey Brin.
“Finishing up my first decade at Google, and excited to return to my startup roots and begin the next one at Google X,” Huber wrote on his Google+ profile and Twitter account earlier today. “Let me know what you’d like to see Google X do next.”
The move, originally reported by the Wall Street Journal, is a significant change for Google following the announcement yesterday that Andy Rubin, who until now has led the Android team, is also stepping down. Rubin isn’t leaving the company – at least not yet – and will be replaced by Sundar Pichai, who currently leads Google’s client software products, such as Chrome and Chrome OS.
Yesterday, the technology giant also revealed that it would be shutting down Google Reader as part of a “second spring of cleaning,” on July 1. It joins a number of other applications that Google is closing, including Snapseed Desktop for Mac and Windows, because of a “need to focus”.
The Wall Street Journal has cited an unnamed source, who said that the mapping unit will now be integrated into Google’s core search team, led by Senior Vice President of Knowledge Alan Eustace. The commerce unit, meanwhile, will reportedly become part of the advertising group spearheaded by Susan Wojicki.
It’s been one heck of a week for Google. Along with the aforementioned restructuring, the company has also acquired Canadian neural networks startup DNNresearch, a three-man team currently working at the Department of Computer Science, based at the University of Toronto.
We have reached out to Google to confirm Huber’s new job role, as well as the wider changes to the mapping and commerce teams. We will update this story with a statement if and when we hear back.
A Google spokesperson told TNW: “Jeff is an extraordinary executive. He just finished his first decade at Google — having worked on some of our most complicated issues like ads, apps, payments and geo — and now he is eager to work in more of a start up like environment.”
Image Credit: KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images