After six years as an executive at one of the world’s most powerful companies, Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management at Google, has abandoned ship to accept a position as president of California-based wearable products company Jawbone.
For better or worse, Samat certainly leaves behind a legacy. He oversaw the company’s successful Google Shopping platform, yet was also responsible for Google Express, a same-day shopping service that’s received mixed reviews from merchants.
Samat’s experience in digital retail just so happens to coincide with the release of Jawbone’s latest fitness tracker, the first to feature NFC payments via partnership with American Express. The UP4 houses an AMEX chip on its underside that the wearer taps for quick and easy payments on compatible retail terminals.
The new president assumes his post at a pivotal time in Jawbone’s growth, as the company recently closed its latest round of funding effectively boosting its value to an estimated $3 billion. The addition of the NFC feature to a fitness device capable of monitoring sleep, food intake, and general activity (not to mention being good looking) could give Jawbone the edge they need on competitors such as Fitbit Inc.
As for the future, Samat states: “I’ve long been committed to the promise of technology to help people take control of their lives, and I’m excited to be joining Jawbone at this time as the need for solutions that help people make change is more critical than ever”. He is just one of a large wave of developers that see wearables expanding to realms outside of the health and fitness sector, noting that “the wider potential for wearables goes far beyond that” and Jawbone’s positioning in “leading this charge”. We are excited to see what he has in store.