Did Google start yet another trend?
Power-players shifting roles is par for the course in the business world. Top executives and creative talent leave their well-respected posts at the companies that have allowed them to flourish to engage in new ventures, taking their knowledge, flair, and passion with them. Nevertheless, lately, Google has seen a virtual exodus of some of its top talent.
Often referred to as the “godfather” of AdSense, developer Gokul Rajaram left Google in November 2007, curiously declining the opportunity to stay on board for the pending DoubleClick acquisition. Former “head of special initiatives” Chris Sacca left the company last December, after playing a large and somewhat controversial role in making Google’s presence known in the wireless world, and Nathan Stoll, former Product Manager for Google news, announced his departure just a week ago.
This time, it’s Kevin Fox on the go, who announced in his blog today that he is ending his four-and-a-half year stint as Google’s lead user experience designer to join an as of yet undisclosed start-up.
While Rajaram, Sacca, and Stoll played significant roles at the company, Fox’s job was to make our lives easier by designing Google applications to be fast, effective, user-friendly, and fun. Fox was there during the development of Google’s G-mail, Calendar, and Reader, and while no one can say to what degree Fox is responsible for the actual Google user experience, I am curious to see what direction Google takes in customizing our favorite Google apps now that Fox has left the building.