Google has made a major hire in the apps space, poaching GetJar’s Patrick Mork (pictured) to become its new Marketing Director for Mobile Applications. Mork has been GetJar’s Chief Marketing Officer for three years and is a high profile figure in the industry. He is credited with spearheading GetJar’s growth in apps, building it into a company with 50 employees and one that has recently chalked up its 2 billionth app download.

“As a shareholder and early employee I have every confidence the company will continue to succeed and thrive in the ever-changing apps environment and am really excited about some of the new products and improvements we’ll be introducing over the next few weeks and months,” said Mork in a post on his personal blog announcing his move. He will take up his role at Google beginning next month.

Mork’s new role is likely to ratchet up the war of words between Google and Apple regarding their respective apps strategies. Mork has been an outspoken critic of Apple’s App Store, slamming its lack of openness and alleged heavy-handedness with developers. GetJar was also one of the firms targeted by Apple for alleged misuse of its App Store trademark.

Mork’s switch also comes amid reports of increasing co-operation between Google and GetJar; GetJar has reportedly launched a native app for Android – known as GetJar Client – enabling access to GetJar directly from Android Market.