The company's longtime VP of search products and user experience is leaving search behind to focus on geo/local products.
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Marissa Mayer, one of Google's earliest employees and its most visible executives, is no longer overseeing the company's core search products. Her new purview is the management of the company's geo/local products.
These include primarily Google Earth and Google Maps, along with related services like Street View, Places, Latitude, and software like SketchUp.
"Marissa is moving over to an exciting new role covering geo/local, which is crucial to our users and the future of Google," said a Google spokesperson in an e-mailed statement. "Marissa has made an amazing contribution on search over the last decade, and we're excited about her input in this new area in the decade ahead."
Mayer has also been promoted to the company's operating committee, which determines major corporate policy decisions.
Udi Manber, VP of engineering at Google, will take over Mayer's role managing the company's search products. Manber used to be the CEO of Amazon's search engine, A9, before Google lured him away in February, 2006. A9 was subsequently scaled back and is now an e-commerce site search service.
Google's spokesperson expressed confidence that Manber could take the reins from Mayer. "We are delighted that Udi Manber will head up search across Google," the spokesperson said. "It's the heart of our company, and he is an outstanding computer scientist, with over twenty years experience in this field. Udi's focus will be driving innovation for the benefit of users everywhere -- so we are excited about what's ahead."
News of Mayer's new focus comes just as Microsoft is scheduled to unveil new features for its Bing search engine at a media event on Wednesday at its Silicon Valley office.
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