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Google Express Loses Another Executive as Wildfire Co-Founders Exit

The couple behind Google's pricey social ad acquisition is gone.

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard, the couple behind social ad startup Wildfire, are leaving Google three years and three months after the search engine scooped up their company.

Talented people leave, join and stay at Google all the time. But Ransom’s departure is noteworthy because hers marks the third major exec exit from Google’s commerce arm in the past year. Ransom took over product duties at Google Shopping Express, its delivery service, after its director, Tom Fallows, decamped for Uber last November. Their boss, Sameer Samat, left for Jawbone in May.

Then, in August, Google reshuffled the deck again, appointing its business development lead, Brian Elliott, as general manager for the entire Express operation, which has since expanded service across the Midwest as it aims to compete with Amazon and other delivery companies.

Google confirmed the Ransom and Chuard departures but declined to comment further.

 Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard
Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard

The married couple arrived at Google in 2012 to some fanfare with the purchase of Wildfire, a startup that helped marketers manage spending on social platforms. It came amid Google’s feverish push to compete with Facebook on social. (The price tag was between $250 million and $350 million, depending on whom you asked.)

Following the acquisition, the pair worked on the integration of Wildfire’s technology into Google’s ad technology. Ransom transitioned to Express. Chuard went on to lead product for Google My Business.

Chuard announced the departures in a post on Facebook, accompanied by that celebratory photo above. “It’s been an incredible three years and we will be forever grateful for the opportunity you gave us and the Wildfire team,” he wrote. “But it’s time for the next adventure. Stay tuned…”

TechCrunch first reported the news.

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