Chomp co-founder leaving Apple after two years

Chomp logo (medium)

Apple bought the popular app discovery engine, Chomp, in 2012 for the reported $50 million. Soon thereafter, Cook & Co. shut down Chomp’s web service and native apps, including Chomp for Android.

And now, about two years into the acquisition, Chomp’s co-founder and CTO Cathy Edwards will be reportedly leaving the company on April 11, a new report has it.

Apple has bought Chomp for both its talent and the startup’s advanced analytics and recommendation engine and is thought to have used Chomp technology’s to improve app discovery with a few refinements, including the latest feature that enables related search suggestions in the App Store

TechCrunch says Edwards first took on the role of Apple’s Head of Search and Measurement, where she was “responsible for search systems across multiple Apple products enjoyed by hundreds of millions of users each day,” including search for the App Store, iTunes and Maps, according to her LinkedIn profile pictured below.

Cathy Edwards (LinkedIn profile 001)

“The fact that her expertise was quickly transferred to cover more than just apps speaks to how core search is to the wider Apple experience,” remarks the article.

Eight months into the deal, she was promoted to Director of Evaluation and Quality for Apple Maps, in which capacity she was tasked with “building out an organization focused on QA automation, statistical quality analysis and analytics within Maps.”

“From what we understand, Edwards will be taking time out after she leaves April 11 and before making her next move,” writes TechCrunch. Another Chomp co-founder, Australia-born Ben Keighran, plans to stay on with Apple after Edwards’s departure.

No, Apple doesn’t have a retention problem.

No, she was not let go – if Edwards were fired, she’d be fired.

Whenever Apple – or any other company for that matter – buys a small startup, it usually obliges its founders and key executives contractually to stick around for a year or two.

This makes the transition easier as having the founders and their authority on board helps with employee orientation, co-ordination and training post-acquisition.

The same thing happened after the iPhone maker bought fabless semiconductor makers Intrinsity and PA Semi a few years ago. Their founders left Apple within two years of the acquisition, not because they grew fed up with Apple but because their departures were contractual and part of the acquisition terms.