Google just lost another long-time manager to Uber, continuing a series of high-profile poaches from the search giant to the ride-hailing service over the last year
Manik Gupta, who announced his move on LinkedIn, worked on Google Maps for seven years, most recently as the director of product management, and joins Uber as the director of its Maps product.
He may have been recruited by Brian McClendon, who ran Google Maps for many years before joining Uber in July. Or perhaps Tom Fallows, a former founder of Google Express and current Uber exec. Or maybe Rachel Whetstone, Google’s communications and policy SVP, who has carried the same title at Uber sin May.
The exodus from Google to Uber has been so noticable that Fallows recently said on stage at a recent StrictlyVC event that one out of three people he works with at the $50-billion startup is a former Google colleague.
A quick LinkedIn search reveals more than 300 Xooglers now at Uber.
Meanwhile, the two company’s are increasingly becoming rivals. Google’s venture division, Google Ventures, invested roughly $250 million in Uber in 2013, but the two companies’ expanding ambitions mean they are increasingly eyeing each other’s turf. Uber used to use Google Maps data to power its apps, but now its working on its own mapping product (hence Gupta’s role).
Both companies are also experimenting in the speedy-delivery space and harbour ambitions for self-driving cars.
The concept of employees from legacy tech companies jumping ship to hot startups isn’t new — as a Facebook employee recently put it, last year it was Dropbox, this year it’s Uber, next year it will probably be someone else — the number of high-profile leaks from Google to Uber is likely starting to hit some nerves.