Rising stars: Meeting the men and women leading some of Google's most important products

Last fall, Google CEO Larry Page anointed former Android and Chrome SVP Sundar Pichai as the overseer of all of the company’s core products.

It’s a big job, but luckily for Pichai, Google’s got a crack team of other execs hustling away on each vertical.

You won’t find their names on Google’s official management page, but these are the people leading some of Google’s most important products.

Alex Gawley, director of product management for Gmail and Calendar

Gawley joined Google back in 2006 as a financial analyst, but it didn't take long for him to switch to the product management side. By 2008, he took the lead on Gmail and Calendar.

A big part of his job recently was heading up the development of Google Inbox, the company's attempt to reinvent email. Inbox lets you bundle emails by category, snooze messages for later, and set reminders, among other features.

Andrew Conrad, VP of Google Life Sciences

Google's Life Sciences division within Google X is taking on some incredibly ambitious projects, including smart contact lenses to monitor your body's health and nanoparticles that will be able to search the human body for cancer and other diseases. Conrad is the researcher heading up these audacious medical efforts.

'Google X is one of the few places where the world's best physicians and other scientists sit together in a cafeteria eating free food and figuring out how a smart contact lens should work,' Conrad told The Wall Street Journal.'I have a strong belief that this will be fruitful.'

One of Conrad's major achievements is cofounding the National Genetics Institute in 1991. As chief scientist there, he developed a new test for HIV and other viruses in blood-plasma donations that helped screen millions of samples swiftly and at a fraction of the cost of previous tests.

Avni Shah, VP of product management for Google Chrome

Shash on stage at Google's I/O conference

Shah joined Google way back in 2003, beginning her career by working on Toolbar and Search. Today, she heads up Google Chrome, which currently has more than 750 million active desktop users and 400 million mobile users. You may recognise her as one of two women to present at Google's I/O developers' conference last year.

Before joining the Chrome team, she spent two years in Zurich, where she led Google Maps and Local efforts for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Clay Bavor, VP of Product Management for Google Apps

Bavor initially joined Google in 2005 on the ads team. Right now, he tackles product management and user experience design for Google's consumer and enterprise apps, including Gmail, Drive, Docs, as well as Google's Apps for business and education.

He also helped design Google Cardboard, the company's simple virtual reality device, according to his Twitter profile. (The Wall Street Journal reports that he's actually leading that project.)

Google work aside, Bavor is an amazing photographer and has created an Abraham Lincoln portrait out of pennies.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of engineering, Android and Chrome OS

Hiroshi has led management and engineering efforts for Android since he Google in 2006 -- two years before the official launch of Android 1.0 and the world's first Android-powered device in 2008. He added Chrome OS to his engineering responsibilities in 2014.

He's likely been especially busy these last few weeks: Google just released its first major update to Android Lollipop.

(When the company first announced Lollipop, Business Insider interviewed Lockheimer about how Android has evolved over the years -- check out what he had to say here.)

Jamie Rosenberg, VP of digital content

Jamie Rosenberg, who joined Google in 2010, has a big, complicated job. As vice president of digital content, he leads a team that handles the product development, engineering, merchandising, and business partnerships for the Google Play Store.

Play is becoming an increasingly important business for Google: It's now available in 100 countries and Google just announced that it's going to start testing search ads for apps.

As investors and analysts panic about how Google's search advertising revenue growth is slowing because it can't charge as much for mobile ad clicks as desktop ad clicks, this news offers another potentially huge avenue for mobile monetization.

Jen Fitzpatrick, VP of engineering and product management for Geo and Local

Fitzpatrick was one of Google's earliest employees: She joined the company in its first-ever summer internship program in 1999. There were only four other interns at the time and at that point no one had even heard of 'this crazy little startup' called Google.

Nearly 16 years later, she leads product management and engineering for Google Maps and the company's local search products. In between, she has also led software development for products like AdWords, Google News, Product Search, corporate engineering and the Google Search Appliance, and cofounded Google's user experience team.

Recently, she's focused on 'Google My Business,' which helps businesses manage their online presence.

Jerry Dischler, VP of product management for search ads

When Dischler joined Google nearly a decade ago, he led product management for the company's early commerce efforts like Google Checkout (now Google Wallet) and Google Product Search (now Google Shopping).

Today, he has the important job of leading development for one of Google's biggest businesses: search ads. As desktop search starts getting superceded by mobile search, Dischler and his team are focused on new formats for app search ads, new mobile bidding tools, locally targeted ads, and ways to measure how many people see an ad actually buy a product in-store.

Matt Glotzbach, senior director of product for YouTube Creators

As a YouTube Creators leader, Glotzbach handles the product and technology aspects of getting great content onto the site.

As the company tries to increase the number of major brands advertising on YouTube, Google has poured big bucks into helping its original content creators, like Michelle Phan, Bethany Moto, and Epic Rap Battles of History, build their followings and create better videos. Glotzbach and his team have headed up those efforts, as well as rights management and subscription issues, through its new premium YouTube Music Key subscription service. Although YouTube revenue increased to $US4 billion in 2014, it's still not profitable, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Previously, Glotzbach led YouTube's business in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and also worked on areas like Google Enterprise and Search.

Nick Fox, VP of product management for Android

Fox joined Google in 2003 and has reportedly been tapped to lead its new wireless carrier service as well as other mobile messaging products like Google Voice, Hangouts and Messenger.

Google wants those products to better compete 'with powerhouses like Facebook and Snapchat,' reports The Information's Amir Efrati, and may even be rolling out a new messaging product soon, that works more like the hugely popular app WhatsApp.

Prior to moving to the Android team in 2013, Fox led product development for Google's search ads business.

Bradley Horowitz, VP of Photos and Streams at Google

Horowitz recently entered the limelight in a big way when he announced the news that the company's social network, Google+, would be broken up into two separate services, Streams and Photos. He will be leading the development of both (and if you haven't discovered how great Google's photo service is yet, learn more here).

He initially joined Google in 2008 to run product management for apps like Gmail, Docs, and Reader.

Tamar Yehoshua, VP of product management for search

Sine 2011, Yehoshua has led the team trying to make sure that Google search works seamlessly anywhere in the world, on any device. Right now, one of her big focuses is on Google's flagship mobile app, which lets users search via voice.

The focus on speech isn't surprising for Yehoshua. She first joined Google in 2010 on the Google Translate team, where she helped launch Conversation Mode, which enables you to translate speech back and forth between languages on Android.

Previously, she was a VP of advertising technology at Amazon.

Now that you've met the rising stars, meet some of Google's earliest employees...

Heather Cairns was one of the original Googlers

Google's first 21 employees: Where are they now?

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