Google Y Stories September 23, 2014

Founder Sebastian Thrun left Google X in August, now serves solely as an advisor

Google X founder and Google VP Sebastian Thrun decided to leave his position last month, according to a change on his LinkedIn page picked up by TechCrunch. As confirmed by Google earlier today, Thrun will remain in an advisory role only at Google.

Thrun was a driving force behind the company’s efforts to build an automated car and also previously headed up the Google Glass project. However, both projects have since been passed to other leaders. The Google X division has also been the source of a variety of sometimes-outlandish technology, including smart contact lenses and balloon-powered Internet access.

Google Y Stories September 18, 2014

You might think Google’s ‘moonshot’ lab, Google X, is pretty out there, with autonomous cars, smart contact lenses and balloon-served Internet. But co-founder Larry Page seemingly thinks the company needs to look even further ahead: The Information (paywall) reports that he has proposed a second lab, Google Y, to look at even bigger issues.

The idea came out out of an initiative Page created called Google 2.0, designed to create a new set of goals for the company, an approach similar to that taken by the late Steve Jobs at Apple in 2010, where he created an off-site strategy-planning meeting for the top 100 people in the company.

A little over a year ago, Google CEO Larry Page convened his direct reports, the company’s dozen or so senior vice presidents, for a project that would take up two days a week for a couple of months. About 100 other employees below the SVP rank also participated in the effort, dubbed Google 2.0 …

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