updated 09:40 pm EDT, Fri October 29, 2010
Google loses AdMob CEO and Google Maps engineer
Google suffered two major staff setbacks today as it confirmed losing two important company leaders. AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui is leaving for "personal reasons," according to the search engine. The departure was characterized as amicable and contributing to the $1 billion in mobile revenue across Android, iOS and other platforms Google serves with ads.
Business Development VP Niren Hiro is also known to have left in May to lead CrowdStar, while Product Management VP Ali Diab left at a point unspecified to TechCrunch to start up the hedge fund Caturra Capital.
The exit undermines some of the incentive for acquiring AdMob as it leaves the advertiser without its leadership very shortly into its union with Google. Although the acquisition plans were made public in November 2009, FTC concerns about antitrust abuse and competition led to it only agreeing to the AdMob deal in May of this year. Hamoui would have had just five months at Google before leaving.
Google bought AdMob partly after it realized that Apple had made a bidding attempt and could have preempted any significant inroads into mobile ads with internal efforts. Apple's reactionary service, iAd, has been struggling to gain adoption but has a number of key, high-power clients.
Along with Hamoui, however, it's also been discovered that Lars Rasmussen is leaving Google. The engineer left Google on Thursday and was considered one of the company's most significant early developers, as he helped co-create the now ubiquitous Google Maps and the short-lived but high profile Google Wave.
Sources for TechCrunch have claimed that Rasmussen may be headed to Facebook. He would join a small but important string of Google employees that have joined the social network, including Chrome lead Matt Papakipos and Android Senior Manager Erick Tseng.
It's unknown how Rasmussen's exit will affect Google Maps. The feature has been one of the most important assets for Google not just on the desktop but also in mobile. Beyond Android, the underlying engine can also be found in iOS and webOS as core features, even if the app itself isn't necessarily written by the search firm itself.