Google scooped up the social ad startup Wildfire nearly three years and three months ago, and now its co-founders, wife and husband duo Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard, are leaving the search giant, says a report from TechCrunch. Google has confirmed the departures of Ransom and Chuard but gave no further details.
Is Google Express in trouble?
Google regularly sees the joining, staying and quitting of talented people, but the departure of Ransom is noteworthy as she is the third major executive to quit from Google’s commerce arm in the last year. Ransom took over product duties at Google Shopping Express, a delivery service, after its director Tom Fallows left for Uber last November. In May, their boss Sameer Samat also left to work with Jawbone.
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Google reshuffled the deck in August and appointed Brian Elliott, its business development lead, as general manager for the entire Express operation. The Internet giant has expanded services across the Midwest with the aim of competing with Amazon and other delivery companies.
Chaurd took to Facebook to announce the departures. “It’s been an incredible three years and we will be forever grateful for the opportunity you gave us and the Wildfire team. But it’s time for the next adventure. Stay tuned…”
Google was about to curtail services
Google bought Wildfire and acqui-hired its married couple in 2012 with the aim of competing with Facebook. Wildfire helps marketers in managing spending on social platforms. Google acquired Wildfire after a series of social acquisitions by rivals. Google lost Buddy Media to Salesforce, which paid $689 million, and Oracle paid hundreds of millions for the purchases of Virtue and Involver. The price Google paid for the acquisition is not clear, but it is assumed to be in the range of $250 million to $350 million.
Following the acquisition, the couple was assigned the task of integrating Wildfire’s technology into Google’s ad technology. Ransom transitioned to Express, while Chuard went on to lead product for Google My Business. By the end of 2014, Google had already integrated Wildfire into its Doubleclick ad platform, stopped taking clients and was planning to curtail services by the end of 2015.
On Thursday, Google shares closed up 1.88% at $693.17. Year to date, the stock is up by over 29% while in the last year, shares are up by almost 25%.