Google is shutting down Slide, the social gaming company that it bought last summer for $179 million and maintained as a separate division, and Slide founder Max Levchin is leaving the company.AllThingsD, which first reported the news, says that product chief Jared Flieser is also on his way out and has accepted a job with Square, where his former Slide colleague Keith Rabois is now COO.
Slide has always been kind of an awkward fit at Google.
Slide was allowed to remain a separate business unit within Google — similar to how YouTube is run — and put out a couple of mobile apps, including a mediocre group-messaging app called Disco and a photo-sharing app called Photovine. But reports late last year suggested that Levchin wasn’t happy with his relatively minor role at Google, and Google never gave any of the Slide projects much publicity.
A source who used to work on mobile projects for Google recently told us that the company viewed Slide as a pure talent acquisition for Google+, the Facebook competitor that Google launched earlier this summer.
Now, Google will gradually phase all the Slide projects out.
It’s a fizzling end for a company that was once valued at over $500 million, but Levchin remains chairman of the board at Yelp and an active angel investor.