PayPal co-founder Levchin leaves Google

Max Levchin walks away from the Web giant only a year after Google bought his company, Slide. Now Google plans to shutter Slide applications, including the just-launched Photovine picture-sharing service.

Jay Greene Former Staff Writer
Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).
Jay Greene
2 min read

Max Levchin, the PayPal co-founder, is leaving Google just after a year after the Web giant bought his social media company, Slide.

Max Levchin, Slide founder and CEO Slide.com

Google also plans to shutter almost all of Slide's applications including Photovine, a picture-sharing service the company launched just last week. AllThingsD first broke the news of Levchin's departure and the elimination of the Slide-created apps.

"Max has decided to leave Slide and Google to pursue other opportunities, and we wish him the best," a Google spokeswoman said via e-mail. "Most of the team from Slide will remain at Google to work on other opportunities."

A note on the Slide Web site disclosed that several other applications will be "retired" as well. They include Slideshow, SuperPoke! Pets, Video Inbox and Pool Party.

"We created products with the goal of providing a fun way for people to connect, communicate and share," the company said. "While we are incredibly grateful to our users and for all of the wonderful feedback over the years, many of these products are no longer as active or haven't caught on as we originally hoped."

The one Slide service that Google plans to continue is Prizes.org, which connects people who are seeking help with a problem to those who can offer a solution for cash.

Levchin's departure is surprising, given Google's recent push into social networking with Google+. But Levchin didn't play any sort of public role in launching the new social network, and it's unclear if he played a significant role in the creation of it. What's more, when Photovine launched, it would have logically been integrated into Google+. But that never happened.