Google replaced the head of the Maps segment several months ago, according to a report from Business Insider. As per the report, Jen Fitzpatrick replaced one of Google’s most influential executives, Brian McClendon, several months ago. In October 2014, Sundar Pichai was made Google’s product chief, and around that time, only McClendon was replaced at Google Maps, informs the report.
No clarity on McClendon’s role
Like McClendon, Fitzpatrick is another Google veteran. She has been with the company since 1999. For now, there is no clarity on the role McClendon is currently playing at Google. Citing a source, the report says he has not been assigned any role for now and is “on the bench” evaluating his options. The source stated that it’s clear he is on his way out. On the other hand, citing another source, the report says that the executive is evaluating opportunities to start a new project within Google.
Within the search engine giant, McClendon held the reputation of a “towering figure.” Prior to Google, he was vice-president at Keyhole, a digital mapping software company acquired by Google which serves as the base of Google Earth now. McClendon received the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in the year 2013 for “harnessing the power of technology to support conservation and green economic development.”
Maps an important segment for Google
The leadership change at Maps, a division that is seen as a substantial profit generator segment in the company, is significant. The New York Times published an article in 2013 in which McClendon said that 20% of the search queries on Google are location-specific, and that ratio is surging on mobile. Maps has become one of the most important features in the tech market with companies like Apple launching their own apps to counter the internet firm.
Google acquired Waze in 2013, an online mapping app that offered crowd-sourced traffic information, for $1 billion. At that time, McClendon said that both Google Maps and Waze existing simultaneously make sense now, but, in the long-term, their approach will be different.