Google Brain Drain: Local Ads Exec Leaves For VC Firm

Another loss for Google is another gain for the startup industry.

Jon Steinberg, who worked in the New York office for Google’s local markets program, is leaving the company. He’s joining Polaris Venture Partners as an executive in residence.

There, he’ll be “working to identify new investment opportunities of behalf of the partnership as well as, working with existing portfolio companies,” he says in a blog post.

Reached via instant messenger, Steinberg describes the job to us as “a mix of sourcing investments, working with portfolio companies, and hacking, too.”

That should be a great fit. Steinberg is already an accomplished hacker-type, and he loves playing with APIs. He’s already produced a few tools that could even be standalone products or companies:

  • Twittertise, which helps companies schedule their tweets.
  • SocialGreat, which scans social networking services like Foursquare and others to display which places people are “checking in” from the most.
  • DropBoxee, which extends the file storage service to Boxee, the media centre software.

Steinberg is one of many Googlers who have left the company to work at VC firms, such as former China head Kai-Fu Lee, former Asia-Pacific and Latin America head Suhkinder Singh Cassidy, and former head of strategic initiatives Chris Sacca.

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