John Hanke

CEO
Niantic Inc

As CEO, John leads Niantic, Inc., an innovative company dedicated to building “Real World” mobile gaming experiences that foster exploration, exercise and social interaction. Niantic has developed and released two games, Ingress and global phenomenon Pokemon GO. The company was originally founded as a start up within Google to explore the creation of new kinds of entertainment at the intersection of location, social, and emerging mobile devices. Niantic was spun out as an independent company in 2015 with backing from investors such as Google, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company.

Earlier in his career, John was a founder of Archetype Interactive, creators of one of the very first online massively multiplayer games, Meridian59, and then went on to co-found Keyhole, a company acquired by Google for the technology that lead to the creation of Google Earth. John was Vice President of Google's Geo division (overseeing projects including Maps and Street View) for seven years before founding Niantic.

John received a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.