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Summary:

Of all the lightning rods that have been sticking out of the uber-phenomenon known as Google (GOOG), CFO George Reyes was one of the most inconspicuous. Now Google says Reyes is out, but he will stick around long enough to find a successor. CFO transitions are […]

Of all the lightning rods that have been sticking out of the uber-phenomenon known as Google (GOOG), CFO George Reyes was one of the most inconspicuous. Now Google says Reyes is out, but he will stick around long enough to find a successor.

CFO transitions are tricky things, and they’re even trickier for big stars like Google. Investors like to go to sleep at night knowing who is running the financial side of things, so normally a company will have a seasoned candidate lined up to make the transition as smooth as possible. Jittery investors may send the stock lower, which in turn makes employees compensated by stock options that much more antsy.

So far Google’s stock hasn’t reacted. The stock is unchanged in after-hours trading. Reyes built up a lot of good faith with investors, presiding over legendary profit growth and strong stock performance. More recently, however, Google’s stock has been less impressive.

But such good will makes Reyes’ departure that much more puzzling. Neither Google nor Reyes offered any reason for the sudden departure, nor did they offer clues as to who would replace him, saying only that the chair would be filled by the end of the year. What do you think? Why is Reyes departing now, with no successor in place, and who is fit to follow him?

  1. Kevin
    Here’s why they said it. They would rather tell the world on their terms and keep it open than have you, Mike Arrington, Rafat or any of the other “scoop” bloggers leak it out first.

    Hiring a replacement for a senior exec takes time. If the CFO has already made up his mind to leave, it will only be a matter of time before more people and eventually the whole world knows. Then it becomes a PR nightmare. This way its proactive.

    I am sure you’re asking why they dont do this with products (like the so called GPhone) but I am sure these matters are more sensitive to the stock holders than rumors of a new product from Google.

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  2. Google had not been all that concerned with how investors view them so this kind of fits in with their mentality.

    As to his importance? How difficult had it been to be Google’s CFO? How hard was it for Phil Jackson to coach Michael Jordan?

    Reasons? Google is in for a fall? The guy had made enough money? A looming SEC crackdown? Who knows, only time will tell.

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  3. Reyes has already cashed out $259.5 million. How more does he need? The easy growth years of Google are ending soon…

    I think that Murray Demo, CFO of Postini, will be Google’s next CFO. Google recently announced the acquisition of Postini on July 9th. Prior to Postini, Demo was Adobe’s CFO for several successful years.

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  4. I sending in my CV. Give me the job. Please!

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  5. [...] PT | No comments Google (GOOG) employees are in that phase where they can exercise their options, lock in their profits and high tail out of the Googleplex. With their Mansions and Maseratis paid for, it is time for [...]

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  6. [...] Ex-Googlers also tend to be either comfortable financially, and able to fund their own projects off the ground, or at the very least well-résuméd enough to secure backing. (Others find financial security more relaxing than emboldening, and head off to retirement because they are rich beyond belief.) [...]

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