John Martinis, who led Google’s quantum computing effort since establishing its quantum hardware group in 2014, has left Google after being moved into an advisory role earlier this month. That’s according to an article posted yesterday on Wired. Martini also led the Google’s controversial effort to achieve so-called Quantum Supremacy last fall which drew both praise and criticism.
According to the brief article, (Google’s Head of Quantum Computing Hardware Resigns, written by Tom Simonite):
“Martinis says, he had been reassigned from a leadership position to an advisory one. Martinis tells WIRED that the change led to disagreements with Hartmut Neven, the longtime leader of Google’s quantum project.
“Martinis resigned from Google early this month. “Since my professional goal is for someone to build a quantum computer, I think my resignation is the best course of action for everyone,” he adds.
“A Google spokesman did not dispute this account, and says that the company is grateful for Martinis’ contributions and that Neven continues to head the company’s quantum project. Parent company Alphabet has a second, smaller, quantum computing group at its X Labs research unit. Martinis retains his position as a professor at the UC Santa Barbara, which he held throughout his tenure at Google, and says he will continue to work on quantum computing.”
Few details were disclosed. Although Google’s work on quantum supremacy was quickly attacked by quantum computing rival IBM, most of the quantum community agreed it was an important achievement if not an absolute proof of quantum supremacy. That said many have wondered when the Google quantum computing program would enter a more public-facing phase in which it offered access to a Google system as its rivals IBM and Rigetti already have.
Link to Wired article, https://www.wired.com/story/googles-head-quantum-computing-hardware-resigns/#intcid=recommendations_wired-homepage-right-rail-popular_88704c80-4ce8-449f-aa98-cb7b452b6f6b_popular4-1
Link to HPCwire article, Google Goes Public with Quantum Supremacy Achievement; IBM Disagrees), https://www.hpcwire.com/2019/10/23/google-goes-public-with-quantum-supremacy-achievement-ibm-disagrees/