Stripe poaches Google's smartwatch boss

Key Points
  • Payments startup Stripe has poached Google's smartwatch boss
  • David Singleton will now lead Stripe's global engineering efforts

Silicon Valley payments start-up Stripe has hired David Singleton, the man leading Google's Android Wear and Google Fit teams, to be its new head of engineering, the company confirmed to CNBC.

Axios first reported the hire.

Singleton had been Google's "smartwatch king" since 2013 when he was appointed as the director of Android Wear. During his 11-year career at Google he also worked on integrating voice search into apps and on publisher products for Google AdSense.

Google declined to comment on who will now lead Android Wear and Google Fit. Sameer Samat, former president at Jawbone who boomeranged back to Google last year, is the current vice president of product management for Android and Google Play.

Right now, Apple ships what is far and away the most popular smartwatch product on the market, with the Apple Watch holding 49.6% marketshare in the third quarter, according to IDC Research. Unlike Apple, Google focuses on creating smartwatch software which different hardware partners can use, versus building a complete product itself. In 2017, 24 different smartwatches launched using the Android Wear OS from a range of sport and high-end brands including Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors.

"We will miss David at Google and wish him all the best on his new adventure," a spokesperson said on his departure.

At Stripe, Singleton will lead the company's global engineering efforts.

Stripe CEO Patrick Collison, in a statement, describes Singleton as a strategic leader and "an engineer's engineer -- the kind of person who builds a deep learning-based autonomous remote-controlled car on a weekend."