Winter 2009

In Brief

John Hanke of Google Earth Becomes Haas School Executive Fellow


Homing in for 3-D close-ups of everything from Mount Everest to the Eiffel Tower has become routine for the users of Google Earth, thanks in part to John Hanke, MBA 96, who created the first company to make complicated virtual models of the planet easily accessible.

Hanke co-founded Keyhole, which created the world’s first online virtual globe, called “Earthviewer,” and was acquired by Google in 2004. Now director of product management for Google Maps, Local, and Earth, Hanke will share his entrepreneurial insights with the Haas School as its second executive fellow. Tom Kelley, general manager of the design firm IDEO, became the school’s first executive fellow in June 2007.

The executive fellow position was created for respected executives and thought leaders, who serve as advisors to the dean, faculty, and staff. Students also gain exposure to these top thinkers as they participate in events and programs throughout the school year.

Hanke's entrepreneurial journey began in 1995 when he partnered with Berkeley MBA classmate Steve Sellers, MBA 96, to form Archetype Interactive, creator of one of the world’s first graphical, massively multiplayer online games, which was acquired by 3DO. After a couple of years at 3DO, Hanke co-founded another computer gaming company, Big Network, acquired by eUniverse in 2000.

In 2001, Hanke collaborated with software executives from Silicon Graphics and Disney to found Keyhole. After navigating the ups and downs of the dot-com bubble, Keyhole was snapped up by Google and Keyhole’s “Earthviewer” technology became “Google Earth.”

Since the acquisition, Hanke has been working at Google to create products to store, organize, and visualize information about the earth. His advice to innovators: “Do things your own way and be your own judge of ‘success.’”


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John Hanke, MBA 96


Google Earth’s John Hanke, MBA 96, will bring his entrepreneurial insights to the Haas School as its second executive fellow.