Uber Recruits Google Maps Product Director Manik Gupta

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We've recently written about how working for an engaging, high performance technology business – such as Google – can make an individual extremely employable. Yesterday, Manik Gupta, the former Director of Product Management for Google Maps, announced he is to leave to become the Director of Mapping Products at Uber, the ride-sharing service. Manik had spent seven years with the Google Maps team and writes on LinkedIn, "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." Uber's ride-sharing technology is an exciting method of moving from A to B and has many implications and benefits around reducing energy use by putting fewer cars on the streets. Furthermore, Manik's announcement highlights how working for a business such as Google helps people to perform. He said this about Uber: "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."

According to LinkedIn, there are now more than three hundred former Google employees now working for Uber. Manik joins a number of Uber executives formerly from Google, including Brian McClendon (joining Uber in July 2015), Rachel Whetstone (Uber's Communications and Policy Senior Vice President, joining in May 2015) and Tom Fallows, a former founder of Google Express and a current Uber Executive. Indeed it was Tom who explained at a recent StrictlyVC event on state that one out of three people he works with is a former Google colleague.

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Google invested into Uber in 2013 when Google Ventures invested around $250 million. Since then, Uber has aggressively expanded the service around the world and in some respects, now appears to be eyeing Google's turf. Uber has been using Google Maps data behind its ride sharing application but is now working on its own mapping solution (which is why Manik has joined them). Both Uber and Google have plans for self-driving cars and both have invested into the delivery arena with rapid response services. Perhaps Google's investment into Uber continues on a less formal way with the recruitment of former Googlers into its ranks?