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Google restructuring splits up Maps and commerce teams

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Google's mapping and commerce unit was split up this week as part of a series of organizational changes undertaken at the search company.

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Jeff Huber, who previously oversaw the Maps and commerce team, will move on to the experimental Google X division, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Google X is run by company co-founder Sergey Brin and is known for its work on futuristic products such as Google Glass and self-driving cars.

With the split, the Maps team will become a part of Google's existing search team, while Google's commerce division will be folded into its advertising group.

The changes are part of Google's so-called "spring cleaning" changes which have been enacted this week. The company also announced on Wednesday that it will close Google Reader after July 1, and will also discontinue the desktop version of Snapseed.

The most significant change announced by Google this week was the news that Andy Rubin will no longer be in charge of the company's Android division. Rubin, an Apple employee from 1989 to 1992, started Android, Inc., which was purchased by Google in 2005 and paved the way for its current success in the smartphone market.

Under Rubin, Android has become the dominant mobile platform of choice for the largest handset makers, including Samsung, HTC and and LG. Android's chief competitor is Apple's proprietary iOS platform, which powers the iPhone and iPad.

With Rubin moving to an unidentified "new chapter" at Google, Android will be overseen by Sundar Pichai, who previously worked on the company's Chrome browser and Apps teams.
post #2 of 18

May be Apple steering Apple users away from Google services like the Map is finally hurting Google business?

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

May be Apple steering Apple users away from Google services like the Map is finally hurting Google business?

Maybe — and iOS certainly accounts for a huge amount of Google's mobile business — but I think the odd team splitting and then refolding into other teams shows it has a lot more to do with Huber than anything else.

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post #4 of 18

Where is the obligatory 800 pixel image of Jeff?

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post #5 of 18
These recent job changes/re-organizations at Google, would--if they happened at Apple--have the media fighting over who gets to keep the chairs when the company shuts down next month!
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

These recent job changes/re-organizations at Google, would--if they happened at Apple--have the media fighting over who gets to keep the chairs when the company shuts down next month!


May be GOOG instead of going to $1000 will miss the estimates?  Because most of the Android devices users don't surf the internet or watch video as much as iOS users.

post #7 of 18
Google needs to take advertising and searching to new levels or they could be challenged very soon.

Google glass and self driving cars are impractical at this time. Google can only waste so much resources.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post


May be GOOG instead of going to $1000 will miss the estimates?  Because most of the Android devices users don't surf the internet or watch video as much as iOS users.

GOOG going to $1000.  I don't think so.  Analysts can put all kinds of outrageous targets.  It's not their money.  At 25 times earnings, the stock is way too rich.  Larry doing all these reorgs is not a good sign for near-term earnings.

 

Looks like investors are coming around to this point of view.  Stock is not acting well right now.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

May be Apple steering Apple users away from Google services like the Map is finally hurting Google business?

Maybe — and iOS certainly accounts for a huge amount of Google's mobile business — but I think the odd team splitting and then refolding into other teams shows it has a lot more to do with Huber than anything else.

 

It seems odd to me that Google has not released a better Maps app for the iPhone -- and one specifically for the iPad.  The Google Maps UI occupies about 1/3 of a stretched iPhone 2X screen -- the Apple Maps has a full iPad screen with a small menu bar at the top.

 

The search interface, map data and POIs on Google Maps are, admittedly, better than the present Apple Maps implementation.   The Google Maps UI is terrible and slow.  In many cases (not all) Apple Maps Satellite Views are superior to Google Maps.

 

Google Maps has street view but it is awkward (compared to when it existed in Apple Maps on iOS 5).

 

I am surprised that Google is not trying to exploit the advantages it has, while it can.   Maybe Google just isn't good at UX -- their efforts seem to be geared at enhancing AX (Advertisers' Experience).

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post #10 of 18

Has anything tangible come out of Google X yet, aside from the Glass demo units?

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post #11 of 18

This is all part of a strategy refocusing at Google.   Despite Android's success it has not generated the kind of revenues Google would like.  They are going to go after developing markets where they can establish a foothold.

 

After Eric Schmidt visited North Korea Google decided that it was probably biggest opportunity out there because no one in North Korea has a cell phone yet. Heck they don't even have computers.  That is a huge market for not only Android and Chrome OS.

 

Motorola is working on a secret new inexpensive "People's Phone"  that does 2G.

 

Dennis Rodman will be the marketing spokesperson for Google in North Korea.  Their marketing slogan will be "Google, the Supreme Leaders in Democratic People's Wireless".

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Has anything tangible come out of Google X yet, aside from the Glass demo units?

Google X-labs only dates back a year and a half or so IIRC.

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post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

<..>

 

Dennis Rodman will be the marketing spokesperson for Google in North Korea.  Their marketing slogan will be "Google, the Supreme Leaders in Democratic People's Wireless".

 

 

and : "Samsung's worst enemy" ?

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google X-labs only dates back a year and a half or so IIRC.

That's interesting since there are reports of Google's self-driving car dating back to at least 2010 - and that's one of the projects of X-labs.
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post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's interesting since there are reports of Google's self-driving car dating back to at least 2010 - and that's one of the projects of X-labs.

But was there an official Google X Labs when they started that project or did they create that segment and put self-driving cars into that category when they realized they'd have more of these projects coming?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #16 of 18

Maybe Andy can go back to Apple.  Here's how that would work:

 

1. Apple sends Rubin a job offer with $50 million per year salary, for up to 3 years.

2. Rubin accepts the offer, and he takes his place in the Apple legal department.

3. Rubin testifies against Google in several key Android technology and design trials.

4. Apple wins billions from Google in out-of-court settlements and court decisions.

5. Rubin leaves Apple after 3 years, having earned $150 million, buys private South Pacific island.

6. Rubin joins Samsung as head of the Tizen Technology Division.

7. Under Rubin, Samsung completes its transition from Android to Tizen in all mobile devices.

8. With Samsung no longer in the "Android pie," Motorola's Android market share climbs out of the "other" slice.

9. Google finally shows a tiny profit from their Motorola division.  Still $12.4 billion in the hole.

 

Hey, it could happen.  :-)

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post #17 of 18
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
2. Rubin accepts the offer, and he takes his place in the Apple legal department.

3. Rubin testifies against Google in several key Android technology and design trials.

 

Isn't him testifying using insider information illegal?

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post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


But was there an official Google X Labs when they started that project or did they create that segment and put self-driving cars into that category when they realized they'd have more of these projects coming?

I think you've got it covered Soli.

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