Google has separated its mapping and commerce units, both of which were headed up by senior vice president Jeff Huber, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. As a result, Huber, who has been with the company since 2003, will step down from his position. Huber led the teams behind AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick, and Google Apps before becoming senior vice president of Commerce and Local in 2011.
Huber will be headed to Google's mysterious X team, the group that has produced products like Google Glass and self-driving cars. He will be working with former Android head Andy Rubin and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The mapping team will be folded into Google's larger search unit, while the commerce team will join the advertising group.
Another exec is headed to the X team
Business Insider reports that after Larry Page became CEO of Google in 2011, the combined mapping and commerce group became much harder for one person to handle, mainly because of all of the products that fall under its umbrella. It was also Google's largest team outside of Motorola Mobility, with some 2,500 employees under it. Under Huber's new position, he will no longer report to Page.
This news follows yesterday's major shakeup of Google's Android and Chrome OS teams, when Andy Rubin stepped down as head of Android to pursue other projects. He will be succeeded by Sundar Pichal, former head of Chrome OS and apps. Google also announced that it would be shutting down a number of services as part of its annual "spring cleaning," the most significant of which was Google Reader. Following the news that Reader would be sent out to paster on July 1st of this year, many longtime users of the service expressed their feelings for it on Twitter and other social networks.
Google has its major I/O developer conference coming up in just a couple of months, and given all of these changes, it's lining up to be quite an interesting show.
Update: A Google spokesperson has provided us with a statement on the reorganization: "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."