John Hanke
Niantic CEO and Founder, Introduced Pokémon Go

John Hanke, the founder and CEO of Niantic, Inc., has been a pivotal figure in the intersection of augmented reality, outdoor and mobile gaming, most notably through the creation of Pokémon Go - the first (and only) AR app to reach 630 million lifetime downloads and bringing in $4 billion in app revenue.

Hanke's journey in technology began with the first massively multiplayer game, Meridian-59. He later co-founded Keyhole, Inc., an Earth Browser company acquired by Google in 2004 and later renamed Google Earth. At Google, he led the Geo division, which oversaw Earth and Maps products, before spinning off Niantic, including the original team from Keyhole.

Following Ingress, the first AR app by Niantic released in 2011, which helped perfect the game mechanics and build a community, Pokémon Go became an overnight global phenomenon, and illustrated the potential of location-based AR technologies. With Pokemon Go’s warchest, Hanke's vision has expanded to launching Lighthouse, Niantic’s AR cloud platform, to enhance real-world exploration, exercise, and social interaction.

His leadership in developing immersive AR experiences continues to influence the industry, making significant strides in how digital content is interacted with and consumed in everyday life.