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Google satellite exec reportedly leaves company

Greg Wyler, a key executive in the company's efforts to deploy Wi-Fi beaming satellites, has made an "abrupt" departure, according to news reports.

Greg Wyler was one of the leaders behind Google's efforts to bring more people online via satellite. JODY AMIET/AFP/Getty Images

Google has been in the middle of a space race, but it looks like one key executive will not be coming along for the ride.

Greg Wyler -- one of the leaders behind Google's efforts to beam Internet connectivity across the globe via satellite -- has "abruptly" left the company, according to a report Tuesday by The Information (subscription needed). The report says it is not yet clear why Wyler left Google.

Wyler recently joined the company from O3b Networks, a satellite company, along with Brian Holz, O3b's former technology chief. Holz has also left the company, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the Journal, Wyler had 10 to 20 people reporting to him. He reported to Craig Barratt, a senior vice president who heads up efforts having to do with spreading Internet access and reports directly to CEO Larry Page.

Google and other Internet giants have been developing technology with the aim of reaching unconnected populations. Another one of the company's projects, called Loon, also attempts to beam Wi-Fi, though through high-altitude balloons. Facebook has also been focusing on spreading Internet access. In March, the company announced an effort called ConnectivityLab, which is building satellites and drones that will beam Wi-Fi.

For the tech firms, bringing more people online also means the companies can extent the reach of their software and services.

Google is said to have committed more than $1 billion to the satellite project, and reports have said it is unclear what Wyler and Holz's reported departures mean for the initiative.