Google to split mapping, commerce ops, WSJ reports

As part of the move, Jeff Huber, head of the combined operation, will be moved to the Google X team.

Jeff Huber is stepping aside from his role as head of commerce and mapping at Google. Jeff Huber on LinkedIn

It appears that Google's "spring cleaning" is even broader than thought.

The online search giant is splitting its mapping and commerce unit into two separate businesses, The Wall Street Journal reported today, citing its sources.

Jeff Huber, who led the mapping and commerce business, is stepping aside from his role and will be moving to the Google X unit, the Journal said. That business is run by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and works on projects such as self-driving cars and Google Glass.

Google confirmed to CNET that Huber is shifting roles.

"Jeff is an extraordinary executive," the company said in a statement. "He just finished his first decade at Google -- having worked on some of our most complicated issues like ads, apps, payments and geo -- and now he is eager to work in more of a start-up like environment."

The mapping business will become part of Google's search team, led by Alan Eustace, the Journal said, while the commerce business will become part of the advertising group, led by Susan Wojcicki.

Google has been going through a lot of change in the past few days. Yesterday, it announced it was doing spring cleaning, which involved shelving some businesses and moving around executives. It announced that Andy Rubin plans to step down from his role as head of Android, allowing Sundar Pichai, the head of Chrome, to take over. Google also said it will be closing its Reader service in July.

The move to separate the mapping and commerce businesses was unveiled internally yesterday, at about the same time Google's CEO announced Rubin was leaving Android.

Updated at 9:35 a.m. PT with comment from Google.

 

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