Matt Cutts, once the head of Google’s webspam team, confirmed his leave of absence from the company is permanent. According to his announcement, he resigned from Google on December 31, 2016 and currently serves as the director of engineering for the United States Digital Service (USDS).
When Cutts initially took his leave of absence, his stint with the USDS was only intended to last for three months. He extended his leave after seeing the impact being made by the USDS before making the decision to leave Google for good. His upcoming promotion may have also influenced his decision.
The first administrator of the USDS, Mikey Dickerson, will be stepping down on Inauguration Day as he is a political appointee. Upon stepping down, Cutts will become the acting administrator of the USDS. “The work that the USDS does is critical to the American people, and I’m honored to continue that tradition,” says Cutts.
Cutts admits government work isn’t as glamorous or lucrative as working for one of the largest companies in Silicon Valley, but it sounds like it’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make for the rewarding work being done by the USDS.
”Working for the government doesn’t pay as well as a big company in Silicon Valley. We don’t get any free lunches. Many days are incredibly frustrating. All I can tell you is that the work is deeply important and inspiring, and you have a chance to work on things that genuinely make peoples’ lives better.”
This marks the end of an era, so to speak. For years Matt Cutts was one of Google’s most public figures, frequently attending conferences and communicating directly with SEOs either through Twitter or his Q&A-style YouTube videos. It also puts to bed the question of whether or not he will be returning to work for the search giant. It’s safe to say that will not be happening any time soon, if ever.