Omid Kordestani joined Google in 1999, only a year after Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded their company when they were operating out of a small office over a bike shop in Palo Alto. Larry Page obviously thinks very highly of Omid and wrote in his Google+ post:
“When we hired Omid we had no business people so we had all the engineers interview him around a ping pong table. I think he survived because he is actually an engineer! Omid has always been one of my closest advisors, especially since I became CEO again in 2011. He personifies the entrepreneurial spirit that is so important to Google. There is nothing Omid doesn’t know about Google, our customers and partners, and I know that under his leadership the team will excel.”
He will be returning to his former position, but as Larry Page commented, “for now,” to replace Nikesh Arora who worked almost ten years as their Chief Business Officer. He is leaving Google to join one of their partners, SoftBank, as Vice Chairman of SoftBank Corp. and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media. Several former Google employees tweeted to show their excitement for Kordestani’s return – he is really liked, where Arora was not so much. Arora kept the investors happy during his stint, however, a former Googler told our source, Business Insider of Kordestani,“He’s nowhere near the hard-nosed strategist that Nikesh [Arora] is. But he’s an incredibly nice guy and an incredibly popular guy.”
Another former Googler said, “This is a huge win for Google to get [Kordestani] back focused on the business. He’s an inspiring, people-driven, culture-aware leader. The people he hired created the culture at Google, which created a lot of the magic.”
Kordestani originally work at Netscape where his leadership helped increase their revenue from $88 million to more than $200 million in only 18 months and his leadership at Google led to the same type of results. He was behind many deals at Google – partnerships with Netscape, Yahoo, and their landmark deal with AOL in 2002. Adwords turned web traffic into cash and resulted in text-based advertisements rather than banner ads. He was eventually named SVP of Global Sales and Business Development in 2006 and after Arora took over the Business Development Department in 2009, Kordestani took over as Google’s senior advisor to the CEO and founders – he became Larry Page’s closest advisor.
From Page’s comment, he expects Kordestani’s stay in that position to be temporary – probably only until they find a replacement and I think Larry Page will have him back as his personal advisor. In the meantime, Google is in good hands as Larry Page summed it up in his blog:
“Omid has always been one of my closest advisors, especially since I became CEO again in 2011. He personifies the entrepreneurial spirit that is so important to Google. There is nothing Omid doesn’t know about Google, our customers and partners, and I know that under his leadership the team will excel.”
There has been several people exiting Google lately and shuffling of people around – this could be good for Google or it could mean a disruption in their operations. Google has enough money to offer those employees more money to stay – does Google want them to leave or just doesn’t want any disgruntled employees? Please get on our Google+ Page and let us know if you think great things are happening at Google or is this the start of trouble…as always we would love to hear from you.