Google Bids Health Exec Adieu

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2007-09-12 Print this article Print

Adam Bosworth, a noted computer programmer who joined Google in 2004 to run the company's Health project, has left the company.

A Google spokesperson said:

"Adam is a great talent and was instrumental in starting Google Health. He is now on vacation and has decided to pursue other opportunities after that. Marissa Mayer is taking over the health team in the interim until a new team leader takes over. Google is moving forward with work on our health products."

What? Google had a Health project you ask? It did, but there hasn't been much evidence beyond these screenshots. Bosworth has blogged a couple times on what the issues means to the company, and has given a speech about it, (which could be the context of what Google is working on) but that's about it from a consumer-facing standpoint.

Online health info is a booming sector of search. comScore said a few months ago that online health info searches topped 55.3 million for  Q1, a 12 percent increase for the year-ago period. MSN Health, Yahoo Health and AOL Health accounted for roughly 20 million of those searches. Think Google isn't interested in that action?

I hate to jump to conclusions, but the situation is such a head-scratcher that I can't control myself. Google hires a hot-shot programmer from BEA (I spoke to him when he was at BEA; he's sharp about all things XML and Web services), he quietly works for them for a few years on a project that could be extremely important to the digitalization of health care, then leaves.

So something went wrong here. There had to be some philosophical difference. Because no one wants to leave Google, right? (stop laughing, this is serious).

The search vendor is arguably one of the best companies to work for, but now, in the space of two weeks, two high-profile guys have left. Bosworth's departure comes two weeks after Google announced George Reyes is retiring from the company. What gives? Is the grass no longer green?Is Google trying to keep pace with Yahoo's revolving door?

To be fair, Bosworth has done his fair share of bouncing around (Borland-Microsoft-CrossGain-BEA-Google), so maybe he got antsy.

We may never know, but Sergey Brin said in Google's last earnings call that the C-level execs would be watching headcount (almost 14,000!), so there are two less heads to worry about (insert drum beats for cheesy joke here).


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