The vice president of Google Wallet, Osama Bedier, is leaving to pursue "other opportunities." First reported by Venture Beat, Google confirmed the news in a statement saying that "Bedier has decided to leave Google this year." Bedier joined Google in 2011, after an eight-year stint at PayPal. Google Wallet has seen its share of struggles since it was first introduced in 2011, with many carriers refusing to allow it (and sometimes outright blocking it). The Wallet team has seen other high-profile departures, including a co-founding engineer who left last year. Although Wallet is best known for mobile payments, it is also the same branding Google uses for more traditional online payments as well — including in the Google Play store for Android.
Although Wallet's inability to gain significant carrier or vendor support has been a disappointment, it hasn't been a surprise. The mobile payments space is outrageously fractured and difficult to gain traction in, and Bedier has been a levelheaded and clear voice in the space. At the Open Mobile Summit in November of last year, he offered a blunt assessment of how poorly every player in mobile payments has been at offering a universal solution: "Nobody today is delivering any solution that will get scale, including me."
We haven't heard yet where Bedier is headed, but Google wished him well on his departure and emphasized its commitment to keep trying with Wallet: "He's achieved a lot during his time here and we wish him all the best in his next endeavor. Payments are a big part of what people do everyday and we're committed to making them easier for everyone." Google's landing page for Wallet promises that "the next version of Google Wallet" is coming soon, along with a link to request an invite to a beta program.