Yahoo has seen better days. I can’t remember when, but they’ve seen them. And today seems like a particularly bad one.
We just reported about Jonathan Trevor, one of the key figures behind Yahoo Pipes and YQL, is leaving the company for Polyvore. And now we have another one to report. Gary Gale, the Director of Engineering for Yahoo’s Geo team is out as well.
Gale tweeted out the news earlier today, saying, “Just told the team that I’ll be leaving Geo and Yahoo! at the end of the month; stunned silence and some pointed questions followed.” That’s an interesting way to put the news out there. Clearly, not everyone is happy about his move.
And they shouldn’t be. The location space is exploding with popularity right now both in the startup sphere (Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, etc) and within larger tech companies (Google, Facebook, etc). Yahoo is losing the man in charge of their movement at a pivotal time.
Yahoo was actual one of the first major companies on the geo scene when it unveiled Fire Eagle in 2007. But that project, along with so many others, fell to the back burner as Yahoo had to deal with things like Microsoft’s attempted takeover. Now small startups like SimpleGeo are taking over the space.
So where’s Gale off to? He won’t say just yet, but hinted that he already has a job “running a location group and that’s it’s not Google.” Judging from his tweets, he’s interested in our Facebook location scoop from yesterday. Of course, he also just tweeted about the “(d)evolution of privacy on Facebook,” so that seems an unlikely candidate as well.
Yahoo was founded in 1994 by Stanford Ph.D. students David Filo and Jerry Yang. It has since evolved into a major internet brand with search, content verticals, and other web services. Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!), incorporated in 1995, is a global Internet brand. To users, the Company provides owned and operated online properties and services (Yahoo! Properties, Offerings, or Owned and Operated sites). Yahoo! also extends its marketing platform and access to Internet users beyond Yahoo! Properties through its distribution network...
Gale is the Director Places for Location & Commerce at Nokia. Previously, he was the Director of Engineering for Yahoo Geo Technologies. He is a seasoned and experienced geographical information professional with 25+ years of commercial experience; the co-founder of WhereCamp EU, the conference chair of AGI W3G and sits on the Association for Geographic Information Council, the W3C POI Working Group and the UK Location User Group.
Fire Eagle, a Yahoo Brickhouse project, is a location-sharing service. It launched privately on March 5, 2008 with very few user-facing featuresâ€”allowing users to manually update their locationâ€”and a range of APIs allowing app developers to update or access that location programmatically. Notably, the launch offered a complete developers area for desktop, mobile, and web app creation. Fire Eagle allows for updates from mobile devices and multiple Social Networking Sites.