Long-Time Google Sales Chief Arora Bolts, Will Run Japan's Softbank


Google buried the lead in its second quarter earnings story Thursday, casually mentioning to analysts and investors that its long-time sales chief, Chief Business Nikesh Arora, is leaving after nearly a decade to become vice chairman of Japanese digital media conglomerate SoftBank.

While Wall Street seemed unmoved by that news, giving Google a pass on its quarterly earning announcement with ratings and estimates that were largely unchanged, the move should have gotten higher billing for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the colorful and charismatic profile of Arora, and that he was a key player behind Google’s push from search into display and video advertising.

Arora, who recently married wealthy New Delhi businesswoman Ayesha Thapar during a lavish wedding attended by Hollywood celebrities and covered by the tabloid press, will become CEO of SoftBank's Internet and Media.

Google sai Omid Kordestani, Google business founder and sales team lead, will step in to run the business organization, at least on an interim basis.

“Nikesh has been a tremendous leader, adviser and mentor to many Googlers -- including me.  We have learned a lot together, and had a lot of fun along the way,” Google CEO Larry Page posed on his Google+ page, adding that Kordestani was there from the start of Google’s advertising endeavor.

“When we hired Omid we had no business people so we had all the engineers interview him around a ping pong table,” he recalled.  “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.”