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Omar Hamoui, founder and chief executive of Google-acquired mobile ad startup AdMob, is leaving the search giant for what the company says are personal reasons.
Only five months have passed since the acquisition finally closed, which means Hamoui spent more time (about six months) waiting for the government to approve the deal than he did at Google. Following the acquisition, Hamoui was named Google’s vice president of mobile ads.
We’ve heard that Hamoui was having health problems, which would explain such an early departure (startup executives usually lose some of the acquisition money if they don’t stay for a couple of years). [Update: Hamoui posted on Twitter that he’s fine.] When I asked Google for details, the company sent the following statement:
Omar has decided to leave AdMob and Google for personal reasons. He built a fantastic business in a short period of time, and we wish him all the best. Mobile advertising — across search and display — is now a billion dollar business for Google, with AdMob a key part of that. Google is fortunate to have a great team of leaders who are driving the next phase of rapid growth and innovation across all our mobile ads products.
The AdMob acquisition was seen as a key part of Google’s strategy to move into mobile ads, just as rival Apple acquired Quattro and launched its iAds initiative — a program that Hamoui praised. While Hamoui was very much the main face of AdMob, he isn’t the only AdMob executive who joined Google. Jason Spero, who led AdMob’s business development and marketing, is now Google’s director of mobile (though like many Google titles, it’s not clear exactly what that entails).
Hamoui’s departure was first reported in TechCrunch.