Another Key High-Ranking Google Executive Just Quit

alphabet-googl-logoThe exodus of top-level talent from Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) continues. This time, it’s Bill Maris, who founded and serves as CEO of Alphabet’s venture capital unit who’s hitting the bricks.

From Bloomberg:

David Krane, a managing partner at the firm formerly known as Google Ventures, will succeed Maris as head of the group, a person familiar with the matter said. Krane, a 17-year veteran of Google, will likely increase the firm’s investments in consumer products and services, said the person, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public.

Maris created Google Ventures in 2009. While the firm is funded entirely by Alphabet, GV operates like a traditional venture capital outfit by encouraging partners to make investments with the goal of big financial returns, not finding prospective acquisitions for its parent company. GV now has 14 partners, each of whom receive a piece of the returns from the funds they work on.

This move is a huge loss for Google, which has had a lot of success in the venture capital arena under Maris.

GV was the most active U.S. corporate venture arm in the first half of the year, according to research firm CB Insights. Its largest investment is Uber Technologies Inc., and its holdings also include Slack Technologies Inc. and Jet.com Inc., the e-commerce startup that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. agreed to buy for about $3 billion. GV manages $2.4 billion and has about 70 employees, most of whom help startups design, develop and market their products.

Maris is the latest in a line of several high-ranking Google execs to leave the company recently.

In recent months, Alphabet has lost several high-profile executives, including Chris Urmson, a key engineer at its self-driving car initiative, and Tony Fadell, who ran its Nest home appliance business. Maris is expected to discuss his departure with GV staff on Thursday, saying he plans to spend more time with his wife and baby, said the person familiar with the matter. Before joining Google, Maris worked at Swedish firm Investor AB managing biotechnology investments. He founded and sold Burlee, a web hosting business.

The true reasons behind Maris’ departure weren’t immediately known, but he noted he’d be taking some time off before embarking on his next journey. It’s not a stretch to think that he’ll stick in the VC space, probably in a firm that will compete against Google for investment placements.

Alphabet shares, which have gained 4% year-to-date, rose $0.94 (+0.12%) to $809.43 in Thursday afternoon trading.

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