Top Google Engineer & Product Manager Leave Google

Two top Google engineers leave — to Benchmark Capital from VentureBeat reports Bret Taylor and Jim Norris, top Google engineers, have left Google to work at Benchmark Capital, a venture capital firm.

Taylor and Norris were largely responsible for the development of Google Maps as well as other Google products. Taylor was the project leader for Google Maps, while Norris was in charge of the server management for the mapping product. Norris told VentureBeat, “It’s not about the money.” Both Taylor and Norris earned the top Google award, Google Founders’ Award.

At Benchmark, they will be “Entrepreneurs in Residence,” which allows them to think up ideas all day, and get paid for it. Reportedly, Taylor and Norris have “specific idea in mind, but are secretive about it,” said VentureBeat.

Postscript From Danny: Taylor was actually a product manager, not an engineer. These are often confused. Vanessa Fox who left Google recently was also a product manger, not an engineer, though often she was assumed to be an engineer.

That’s not to say that losing product managers is less important than losing engineers, of course — actually, you can argue losing good product managers is even worse. To add to this, Paul Kedrosky noted a third product manager who left recently for Facebook. From the email that product manager sent out:

A couple of months ago, after three years as a Google product manager, I decided to leave for Facebook. I am writing this note to spread Good News to all the friends I haven’t already overwhelmed with my enthusiasm: Facebook really is That company.

Which company? That one. That company that shows up once in a very long while — the Google of yesterday, the Microsoft of long ago. That company where large numbers of stunningly-brilliant people congregate and feed off each other’s genius. That company that’s doing with 60 engineers what teams of 600 can’t pull off….

I’m serious. I have drunk from the kool-aid, and it is delicious. Facebook is hiring ambitiously across the organization. If you’re an engineer, UI designer, product manager, statistician, bizdev god, general entrepreneurial badass, whatever, and you would even consider considering Facebook as your new place for hat-hanging, please send me a Facebook message.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Employees


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • rickvidallon

    It figures these guys are jumping ship. The Google map support group forum is filled with cries of help from individuals businesses trying to get help correcting errors displayed in their Google map listings. Even my own Google Map listing is wrong.

    Maybe this departure as well as some other recent Google employee migrations signal a paradigm shift in Google management.

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