Round Two: Google Splits Up Geo and Commerce Unit, Huber Steps Down
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) geo and commerce unit boss Jeff Huber will step aside in what amounts to a double shuffle in the search giant’s management ranks, coming on the heels of Android chief Andy Rubin’s move Wednesday to another position in the company and Sundar Pichai’s ascension to oversee both the mobile OS and Chrome businesses. Let’s talk business unit consolidation…
The list of Google products previously overseen by Huber includes Payments, Wallet, Offers, Shopping, Maps & Earth and Travel. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the reorganization will see Huber move to Google X, the company’s cutting-edge business handling projects such as Google Glass and driver-less cars. Huber will no longer report to Google chief executive Larry Page.
The geo division will be folded into Google’s search unit while commerce will end up as part of the advertising group, according to the report. Alan Eustace heads search and Susan Wojcicki leads advertising.
A Google spokesperson provided this statement on Huber: “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 startup-like environment.”
As detailed in a BusinessInsider report, in a 2011 re-org, Page, as newly-named Google chief, gave Huber control over a group at the time named Local and Commerce, a unit that subsequently fussed about a bit and saw top executives, such as Marissa Mayer (now Yahoo — NASDAQ: YHOO — chief) and Stephanie Tilenius (now a top exec at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins), flee the coup.
Huber’s unit was said currently to be working on a service for local businesses to deliver products from their store shelves to customers within a day or several hours, according to the Journal’s report. His job managing geo and commerce may not have been a walk in the park. The unit contains 2,500 people–the largest unit at Google save Motorola Mobility—with geo supporting 1,100 full-time employees and 6,000 contractors. And, geo sports a host of successful products while commerce is not as yet similarly established.
With the reorg, Google’s business unit management now resides in the hands of five people: Pichai, Eustace, Wojcicki, Vic Gundotra, who heads Google +, and Salar Kamangar, who runs YouTube.