O’Neil to stay at Google
O’Neil was chosen as the head of global business operations at Google X, the company’s moonshot division, in May 2014, and in the same month, marketing executive Ivy Ross entered the company as its chief executive. O’Neil arrived at Glass after four years of serving as the managing director for Google Canada. Before that, he was the director of retail for the company and held finance and sales roles at Google in 2005.
Google shuttered its Explorer program earlier this year. Later, the company announced that Glass has “graduated” from Google X and will now be given to Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest Labs. Fadell is now concerned with its next consumer iteration, exclusive of the home automation division. The Glass team reported to him but never worked with staff from Nest. Google Glass is not in consumer sales anymore, but it is being offered to enterprises such as automotive and medical equipment manufacturers.
Google defending its Moonshot projects
Google X was founded in 2010, and since then, it has unveiled a few clandestine initiatives, such as Glass, the self-driving car and the internet access program Project Loon. The internet company entered into a deal with drug maker Novartis last year in July to license its smart contact lens. Project Loon inked a deal with Vodafone and Telefonica, two of the largest global mobile carriers. Recently, at Google I/O, SVP Sundar Pichai said that there will be more of such tie-ups in the future. However, on the revenue front, Google X has shown weak potential.
Investors are confident on Google’s search and ad businesses, which is its main revenue generator. However, they are not very confident about the company’s investments into more sci-fi projects that lack profitability.
However, lately Google’s top brass have come forward to defend Google’s moonshot projects. Chief Business Officer Omid Kordestani stated at the Code Conference that the search engine giant is not worried about the shortage of business models for Google X and its other futuristic bets. Also Chairman Eric Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin addressed shareholders at the annual general meeting on Wednesday and also submitted a letter to the SEC stating that the results of the projects are “far from certain” but critical to Google.