Jeff Huber, the man who has run Google’s Mapping and Commerce group for the last decade, has stepped down. In the process, his team is being split in two, and he’s moving over to Google X, the search company’s skunkworks charged with bringing bleeding-edge technologies — everything from space ladders to driverless cars – to life.
The move comes just a day after Andy Rubin, the senior vice president who spent that last decade at Google running Android, also stepped on covert projects at Google X.“Jeff is an extraordinary executive. He just down to work 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 environment,” a Google spokesperson told Wired in an email. With Huber no longer at the helm, Mapping will now fall under Google’s Search division, run by Senior Vice President Alan Eustace. Commerce will roll into Google’s Advertising group, run by SVP Susan Wojcicki.
Huber updated his Twitter bio on Thursday, confirming his move to the X team. On Thursday, in his first tweet since Dec. 19, Huber asked what his followers would like to see Google X pursue. “Finishing up my first decade at Google, and excited to begin the next one at Google X. What would you like to see X do next?,” he wrote.
Suggestions of tackling hunger, poverty, teleportation, self-driving cars (which Google X is already working on), the health care industry, digital currency, teaching coding to children, and space elevators flooded in. Huber responded with interest to nearly every one, but he didn’t reveal his own preference nor what he hopes to achieve as part of the Google X team.