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?