Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google Grabs Former Yahoo Ari Balogh En Route to StumbleUpon

The Web discovery start-up StumbleUpon has hired Japjit Tulsi, who was previously a director of engineering at Google, as its VP of engineering, filling the role it had previously tried to give to former Yahoo CTO and EVP Products Ari Balogh.

What’s a little odd about the situation is that we wrote only two months ago about StumbleUpon’s new VP of engineering hire, which at the time was Balogh (pictured at right).

Balogh, it turns out, never got to StumbleUpon. He did the interview about the new gig with AllThingsD after agreeing to join, but then decided to take another offer to be VP of storage infrastructure products at Google, where he is now. (Balogh declined to comment on the situation.)

Meanwhile, Tulsi will report to StumbleUpon CEO Garrett Camp, who previously led engineering himself. Tulsi will focus on scaling, advertising and mobile projects.

Tulsi (pictured left) was persuaded to join StumbleUpon after six years at Google spent on products like Google Analytics and YouTube. He said in an interview this week he was particularly interested in working with StumbleUpon’s “strong co-founders,” who sold their company to eBay but then bought it back and continue to be engaged.

Plus, it’s working; StumbleUpon now has 15 million users and gives one billion content recommendations per month. According to StatCounter, StumbleUpon has been referring more traffic to other Web sites than Facebook since mid-June.

And StumbleUpon feels like home, in a way. Tulsi is the 20th former Googler at StumbleUpon, and there are only 80 people at the San Francisco-based company.

Tulsi, by the way, actually did start on Tuesday, so it seems unlikely there will be any funny business this time around.

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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo