Google Loses Wave, Maps Creator, Possibly to Facebook

Lars Rasmussen, one of Google's high-ranking engineers has left the company and is said to be moving to Facebook. He is best known as the co-creator of the ill-fated Google Wave, but was also the co-creator of Google Maps.

He has confirmed the move and yesterday was his last day at Google. He hasn't said where he is heading to next, but TechCrunch is betting on Facebook. For now, he will be taking some time off.

He has been living in Australia for the past few years. He founded Where 2 Technologies along with his brother Jens Rasmussen. The startup was later acquired by Google and morphed into Google Maps.

His next big project was the hyped Google Wave. Announced last year, the product promised to revolutionize real-time communication and collaboration. However, it proved complex and confusing, a great piece of technology in search of an actual use.

Google killed Wave just a few weeks after making it publicly available. Wave will live on as an open-source project, but Google has no plans to fund or develop Wave anymore.

With Google killing off his pet project, it's hardly surprising that Rasmussen is leaving. There's no word on whether his brother is leaving as well, though he is still listed as Google employee.

While there's no official confirmation, Facebook looks like a very probable target. It's hard to guess what he'll be working on at the social networking site, but Facebook has a has no shortage of interesting projects that need attention.

There's been a growing rivalry between Google and Facebook, with the latter snatching quite a few top engineers and execs lately. The biggest win was Matthew Papakipos, head of Chrome OS, which left for Facebook before the anticipated operating system has even shipped.

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