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Square Inc. hires Gokul Rajaram, the ‘Godfather’ of AdSense

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On June 27, 2013 the young online-payments company Square announced a new hire Gokul Rajaram, Facebook’s former director of Ad products, as it’s product engineering lead. Gokul Rajaram will start working at the San Francisco based company next week after working with Facebook for 3 pivotal years.

Square, with hundreds of millions in funding and a $3.25-billion valuation has recently released a couple of high-profile products including a new online marketplace for merchants and Square Register, which allows brick-and-mortar retailers to use an Apple iPad as a cash register. Mr.Rajaram will be overseeing Square Register, the firm’s point-of-sale product for retailers, Square announced on thursday.

Rajaram led the team that created all the advertising products on Facebook since September 2010, playing a crucial role in supervising the development of new Ad products and was instrumental in Facebook’s acquisition of Microsoft’s ad server “Atlas”. Rajaram founded Chai Labs which was bought by Facebook in August of 2010. Before that, he was Product Management Director for Google AdSense where he was dubbed the “Godfather” of Adsense playing a role in the acquisition of DoubleClick.

“Gokul has played a valuable part in building our advertising business. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” Facebook said in a statement.

Facebook has been under pressure to prove the effectiveness of advertising to boost its stock price which remains far below the $38-a-share price of its May 2012 initial public offering. Advertising accounts for about 85% of Facebook’s revenue. The absence of Mr.Rajaram will be keenly felt with the number of facebook users increasing on smartphones. Facebook revealed that Mike Hudack, who worked on Rajaram’s team will step into his role as head of product management. Brian Wieser, a significant

Research group analyst advised the Facebook investors to be calm. Mike Hudack was the co-founder and chief executive of Blip.tv before joining Facebook and has experience working with major brands in New York.

Mr.Rajaram said in an email statement, “I’ve been fortunate to work for two mission-driven, world-changing companies, and Square’s vision and passion for helping businesses grow is inspiring. I’m thrilled to join the team and help build amazing products that drive economic growth and empower local businesses around the world.”

Gokul Rajaram’s arrival in the company is not the only notable hire as the company has announced a series of pivotal hires in the past including hiring former PayPal exec Alex Petrov as its President of Partnerships, ex-Googler Francoise Brougher to help it with biz dev stuff and former Deputy US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis to handle international government, regulatory and policy work.

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