Google IPO | 10 Years Later

Google execs: Where are they now?

Google execs: Where are they now?

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In the 10 years since Google's IPO, there has been a lot of coming and going among the company's executive ranks.

Some senior staff members, wealthy from their stock options, decided the time was right to take a chance on a new venture. Others were lured to new positions, where they saw the chance to lead an Internet powerhouse—something they'd either never get to do at Google or would have to wait most of their career for the opportunity.

The success rate of Google's executive defectors has been phenomenal, however. Here's a look at where nine of the most notable have landed.

By Chris Morris, special to
Posted 18 Aug. 2014

Marissa Mayer

Yahoo! President and CEO Marissa Mayer delivers a keynote address at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 7, 2014.
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Mayer was one of the most public faces at Google—and held many positions at the company, including vice president of search products and user experience and, immediately before her departure, vice president of local, maps and location services. She had a big hand in Google's minimalist user-interface on both the search engine and gmail and led Google's acquisition of Zagat.Yahoo lured her away in 2012—a move that shocked the tech world. Since joining the one-time Google rival, she has spearheaded the acquisition of Tumblr and worked to improve morale at Yahoo. Investors have been mixed on her overall performance, though.

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is one of many public advocates of equal pay.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sandberg, as Facebook's chief operating officer, has been such a key part of the social media company's growth that many people forget she spent seven years as a Googler. That tenure, as Google's vice-president of global online sales and operations, put her in charge of the company's advertising and publishing products. She also ran sales operations for Google's consumer products. In 2007, though, she met Mark Zuckerberg, and while he wasn't formally looking for a COO, he felt the fit was such a good one that he hired her away in 2008.

Tim Armstrong

Tim Armstrong, chief executive officer of AOL Inc.
Scott Eelis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Another advertising veteran, Armstrong was senior vice president and head of Google's North and South American advertising operations when AOL cherry picked him to become its CEO in 2008. That capped an eight-year run with Google for Armstrong, who helped open the company's first office in California. Since making the jump, he has helped AOL's bottom line, but hasn't always endeared himself with the staff, especially earlier this year when, at a company town hall meeting about benefits changes, he cited the cost of treating two "distressed babies."

Nikesh Arora

David Paul Morris| Bloomberg | Getty Images

Arora is the latest high profile departure. Last month, after nearly a decade at Google, the chief business officer left to join tech conglomerate SoftBank, where he is vice chairman. In 2012, Arora was Google's highest paid executive, with a compensation package of $51 million. While that included a bonus of $8 million that he was required to return if he left the company before 2015, Google waved that requirement when he departed.

CORRECTION: This version deleted incorrect information about Arora's role at Softbank Corp.

Dick Costolo

Dick Costolo
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Costolo had a fairly short run at Google, only two years, but his impact was notable. In 2007, the company acquired Feedburner, the Web feed management provider, which Costolo had co-founded. By 2009, though, he had jumped to Twitter as chief operating officer. A year later, he was named CEO, so Twitter's co-founder Evan Williams could focus on the product.

Kevin Systrom

Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images

Like Costolo, Systrom spent only two years at Google. He was part of the team working on gmail and Google Reader, as well as general corporate development. In 2010, though, he left to co-found Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook just two years later.

Henrique De Castro


In 2012, De Castro was one of the first former co-workers Mayer hired when she went to Yahoo. Google's former president of partner business solutions didn't last very long, though: He was ousted due to Yahoo's poor advertising revenue after just 15 months. He didn't receive a bonus for his work at the company in 2013, but thanks to a golden parachute clause in his contract, he collected a severance package worth $58 million.

Gideon Yu


Yu may be the Google executive alumnus with the most miles on him. As CFO of YouTube, he led the negotiations that resulted in Google's $1.65 billion purchase of the streaming video site in 2006. He stayed on after the buyout, but left the following year to become CFO of Facebook. His tenure there was also fairly short, lasting just under two years, when he left to become a general partner at Khosla Ventures. In 2011, he left the VC world and settled into his current job—co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers.

Dave Girouard

JD Lasica | Flickr

After spending eight years at Google, where he developed Google Docs and was named president of enterprise, Girouard left the Googleplex in 2012 to launch his own start-up—a peer-to-peer lending company called Upstart. The company hopes to disrupt the consumer credit industry, noting a Federal Reserve study that posits millennials are the group least likely to default on loans