Google’s sales organisation is now made in Nikesh Arora’s image.
Before Tim Armstrong left his job as Google’s top US salesman to become AOL CEO, we hear he and Nikesh Arora, then Google’s European topper, liked to trade elbow jabs on how best to organise Google’s sales globally. Google’s global sales boss Omid Kordestani played referee.
Hardly personal, Tim and Nikesh’s philosophical disagreements still seemed to have stemmed from personality differences. Media people love Tim, and he’s considered a charismatic leader with big ideas. Engineers like Nikesh, who think of him as very smart and data driven. Nikesh avoids risk, and unlike Tim’s US group, Google Europe never adopted failed products like Google Print, Google Checkout, Google Audio. Ad people say Nikesh is colder to his reports.
But now Tim is gone and, unneeded as a referee and “richer than God,” Omid took a seat too, leaving his gig to become a senior advisor to Larry Page and Sergey Brin. All this leaves Google’s sales to Nikesh, and he’s begun to take action.
Broadly, he’ll make Google (GOOG) into a more conservative outfit that focuses on growing already strong businesses instead of entering new ones willy-nilly.
His first move was to fill Tim’s vacated role with former McKinsey analyst Dennis Woodside, who, like Nikesh is considered weak on leadership, but strong on analytics and data. Today, the WSJ reported more granular details:
- Former vice president of sales for North America Penry Price will become vice president of agency and industry relations.
- East, West and Central sales organisations will dissolve, to be replaced by organisations grouped exlusively by industry.
- Jon McAteer will oversee retail and tech clients.
- Jim Lecinski will take consumer-packaged goods, business-to-business, local and healthcare
- Bonita Stewart will get automotive, financial services, media, entertainment and travel.
- Google will eliminate “a small number” of jobs, including Tom Phillips’s, who used to run Google’s failed print business.
- Google says these people will be allowed to pursue other jobs in the organisation, which is the company’s way saying it’s not a layoff.