Google Ends Long Search for a Finance Chief

The name of the new CFO, Patrick Pichette, draws 85,000 hits on the company's search engine.
Kate PlourdJune 25, 2008

After a ten-month search, Google has announced that Patrick Pichette, former president of operations at Bell Canada, will replace retiring CFO and executive vice president George Reyes.

Reyes, who joined Google in 2002 and took the company through its initial public offering in 2004, had planned to retire by the end of 2007. During his tenure, he also oversaw the company’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube, the online video web site, in 2006.

Pichette takes over finance at the internet-search company, which has a $173 billion market cap, after a seven-year stint at Bell Canada. He started his career there as an executive vice president of planning and performance management. During his tenure at the telecom he held a variety of other positions, including a year-long stint as CFO from 2002 to 2003.

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt praised his incoming finance chief’s combination of business skills and experience: “Patrick brings the expertise and track record of a successful CFO, along with the hands-on business experience of a seasoned operations executive,” he said in a statement.

Before Bell Canada, Pichette served as a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he lead McKinsey’s North American Telecom Practice. He also served as CFO and vice president for Canadian telecommunications company Call-Net Enterprises from 1994 to 1996.

Pichette, who’s name produces 85,300 Google search results, said in the statement that he’s an avid user of the search engine’s array of products and has admired the company for many years. He’ll start at the Mountain View, Calif.-based company on August 1 and assume financial operation responsibility on August 12, just shy of a year from when Reyes announced his retirement.

Reyes will continue serving as a director of Symantec Corp. and BEA Systems Inc., as well as in his recent board appointment at identity- theft-protection company LifeLock.