Meet Google's New Global Sales Boss, Nikesh Arora


President of international operations Nikesh Arora — best known for running Google Europe until April — will replace Omid Kordestani as Google’s (GOOG) global sales boss, according to a note in the company’s quarterly filing. Omid will become Senior Advisor, Office of the CEO and Founders.

Here’s the scuttlebutt on the office-swap and Nikesh:

  • Omid is “richer than god” and has been sort of trying to figure out what to do next for quite some time.
  • The only possible candidates to succeed him were former US sales boss Tim Armstrong and Nikesh. Tim left to become AOL CEO, leaving Nikesh as the obvious choice.
  • Tim is a “touchy-feely externally oriented relationship guy” who was very interested in the new stuff — “at heart more of a startup guy.” Nikesh is the exact opposite. He’s systematic and analytically driven.
  • Nikesh is risk averse. Google Europe never adopted Google Print, Google Checkout, Google Audio.
  • In Europe, Nikesh hired a lot of people in his mould — left-brained McKinsey types, low on personality and charisma.
  • He’s not a beloved leader type, but he’s considered effective — “an improvement from a purely operational sense.”

Here’s Google’s statement:

After 10 years of building and managing our global sales and partnership operations, Omid Kordestani has decided to hand over the reins to Nikesh Arora, currently President of International Operations, and take on a new role as Senior Advisor, Office of the CEO and Founders. Continued growth is essential to our future success and no one is better placed to advise on new revenue opportunities than Omid, the business founder of Google. In his new role as President, Global Sales Operations and Business Development, Nikesh Arora will have responsibility for all Google’s revenue and customer operations, as well as marketing and partnerships. He has a proven track record at Google, having spent the last four and a half years building our European operations into a substantial business.

Here’s Nikesh at Google Press Day Paris in 2007:

Here’s Nikesh at the 2008 Marketing Society Annual Conference in London.

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