Google restructuring splits up Maps and commerce teams

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Google's mapping and commerce unit was split up this week as part of a series of organizational changes undertaken at the search company.

Jeff Huber, who previously oversaw the Maps and commerce team, will move on to the experimental Google X division, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Google X is run by company co-founder Sergey Brin and is known for its work on futuristic products such as Google Glass and self-driving cars.

With the split, the Maps team will become a part of Google's existing search team, while Google's commerce division will be folded into its advertising group.

The changes are part of Google's so-called "spring cleaning" changes which have been enacted this week. The company also announced on Wednesday that it will close Google Reader after July 1, and will also discontinue the desktop version of Snapseed.

The most significant change announced by Google this week was the news that Andy Rubin will no longer be in charge of the company's Android division. Rubin, an Apple employee from 1989 to 1992, started Android, Inc., which was purchased by Google in 2005 and paved the way for its current success in the smartphone market.

Under Rubin, Android has become the dominant mobile platform of choice for the largest handset makers, including Samsung, HTC and and LG. Android's chief competitor is Apple's proprietary iOS platform, which powers the iPhone and iPad.

With Rubin moving to an unidentified "new chapter" at Google, Android will be overseen by Sundar Pichai, who previously worked on the company's Chrome browser and Apps teams.