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Nikesh Arora, Google's Top Business Executive, Is Out

Google's Q2 earnings are out, but the real news is at the top of the company's org chart: One of its most powerful executives is headed to SoftBank.

Asa Mathat
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Google’s Q2 earnings report was overshadowed by news about the top of the company’s org chart: Nikesh Arora, the company’s longtime sales boss, is out, and headed to a top job at tech conglomerate SoftBank. He’ll be replaced, at least temporarily, by Google veteran Omid Kordestani.

Google’s Q2 results themselves were mixed: It generated earnings of $6.08 per share on revenue of $12.7 billion, and analysts were looking for something like $6.25 and $12.3 billion. Wall Street seems fine with all of the developments, and left Google’s shares mostly unchanged — they’re up one percent in after-hours trading.

For now, here’s Google’s statement about the departure: “Nikesh Arora, our Chief Business Officer, will be leaving Google after almost ten years at the company to join one of our partners, SoftBank, as Vice Chairman of SoftBank Corp. and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media. He will join this afternoon’s earnings call as usual. Omid Kordestani, who was our business founder and led our sales teams for many years, will be stepping in to lead our business organization for now.”

In 2012, Google made Arora its highest-paid executive, with a total compensation package of more than $51 million. That number included an $8 million cash bonus that Arora agreed to return if he left the company before April 2015. But in a filing with the SEC today, Google said its board had waived that requirement.

Read the liveblog of the call here:

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