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Uber Snags Another Google Mapping Executive to Lead the Product Team

Manik Gupta, the lead product manager for Google Maps, now works for Uber.

The Verge

Manik Gupta, a director of product management for Google Maps and a seven-year vet at the search giant, has jumped to Uber to lead its mapping product.

Gupta announced the move on LinkedIn. His new boss, Brian McClendon, the former (and very beloved) head of Google’s entire mapping division who moved to Uber this summer, welcomed Gupta with a tweet.

Manik Gupta, director of product, Maps, Uber
Manik Gupta, director of product, Maps, Uber

The outrageously well-funded ride-hailing startup has grown much more aggressive about building out its own mapping technology, adjacent to its autonomous driving efforts. This summer, Uber picked up some of Microsoft’s mapping business, and earlier this month it cut a deal with mapping provider Tom Tom. How Uber will work, or compete, with Google, whose venture arm is an early and prominent backer of the startup, is a big, juicy, unanswered question.

Google wouldn’t comment on who’s replacing Gupta, who managed Google Maps data for the past year and had worked on the product since 2008. SVP Jen Fitzpatrick, a longtime Googler, took over the Geo team from McClendon last year.

Here is Gupta’s note in full:

After seven fantastic years with the wonderful Google Maps team, I have joined Uber as Director of Product, Maps.

I was very fortunate to be a part of the amazing journey as Google Maps got to more than a billion users and online maps of the entire world. I learnt a lot, especially how to motivate high performing teams and deliver on bold, long-term bets. I am grateful for all the guidance and mentorship I received over the years.

The problem space around “helping move X from point A to point B” has always intrigued me. During my career I have understood this problem more deeply via founding an e-commerce startup to managing Hewlett-Packard’s online stores Asia operations and finally via building maps at Google. Uber’s version of this problem fascinates me tremendously and I look forward to learning a lot more.

I am very excited by Uber’s vision. There are very few companies that create such rapid and sustained change in consumer behavior and I am excited by what’s next.

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