AdMob founder Omar Hamoui leaves Google

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Roughly a year after Google first agreed to acquire mobile advertising network AdMob for $750 million, AdMob founder and CEO Omar Hamoui is leaving the digital services giant, citing personal reasons. "[Hamoui] built a fantastic business in a short period of time, and we wish him all the best," Google said in a statement. "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."

Hamoui founded AdMob in early 2006 while a student at the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School--at the time, he was struggling to kickstart fotochatter, a mobile social networking startup enabling users to share photos with friends. Calculating that the time and money spent marketing fotochatter translated to customer acquisition costs of $30 per user, Hamoui turned instead to the emerging mobile web, paying sites a penny per click to promote the solution. The lessons learned formed the basis of the AdMob model. His future plans are unknown.

Hamoui spent only about five months working at Google--the Federal Trade Commission did not approve the AdMob acquisition until May. After a lengthy probe the FTC determined the deal did not pose a threat to competition in the mobile ad market, adding its initial antitrust concerns were overshadowed by subsequent developments in the mobile ad segment, most notably the introduction of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iAd effort. Google now represents 21 percent of the U.S. mobile advertising market according to data published in September by research firm IDC, running neck and neck with iAd.

For more on Hamoui's exit:
- read this TechCrunch article

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