Noam Bardin, who joined Waze 12 years ago, and manned the helm throughout the coveted Google acquisition, announced on Tuesday that he’ll be leaving the company soon. Google have yet to name the person to succeed Bardin.
Navigated the exit deal
Bardin shockingly announced his departure on Waze’s community forum, which provides yet another example of how he and the company truly value the Waze community. “What changes tomorrow? Well, nothing” wrote Bardin, further adding: “All the things you know and love about Waze will remain in place, and you’ll still enjoy full access to them. I’ll always be part of this community, and now, maybe I’ll finally get the chance to edit a map.”
In an interview with TechCrunch Bardin added: “You know, after more than 11 years, it’s time to do something else.” Despite that statement, at the moment, Bardin still doesn’t know what that something is going to be. Based on the report, Bardin will remain at Waze and Google until January 2021 to help find his replacement and complete the transition period.
You may not know, but Waze was founded in 2008, under the name FreeMap, by Uri Levine, Amir Shinar, and Ehud Shabtai, with Bardin joining later on. Nevertheless, Bardin is regarded as a key figure in the company’s unprecedented success. Among others, his achievements are credited with establishing the company’s diehard community of map editors, which has grown from 14,000 users in 2088 to over 140 million today.
Bardin also led development of a number of projects during his time, including Waze’s carpool service, which is currently active in Brazil, Mexico, Israel, and the U.S.; as well as the Waze for Cities project, which encourages data cooperation between Waze and government institutions, municipalities, and highway operators.
In 2013, following a trove of inquiries, the deal was closed and Google officially captured Waze for a $1 billion. It was very un-Google-like, despite the acquisition, to allow Waze to continue to operate autonomously under the Google umbrella, and at times even rival Google’s own navigation service - Google Maps.
Other than his position at Google, Bardin also went down the Angel (private investor) route, with investments in Israeli startups, such as Airobotics.
Google’s response: “on the 10th of November, Waze CEO, Noam Bardin, announced that he has started the exit process from the company that he had led for 12 years, 7 of them as part of the Google team. Google will begin looking for a new CEO, and Noam will remain at his position until January 2021, so that he can lead the recruiting process and ensure a smooth transition. Waze’s ongoing operations will remain the same, and the company has Google’s full support to continue and operate autonomously, tackling the everyday mobility challenges jamming up our roadways.”