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After Alphabet Changes, Google Also Gets New Money Makers for Key Unit

It's going to take three to replace one Omid Kordestani as Google's business leader.

Asa Mathat for Re/code

We are still parsing the full significance of Alphabet, Google’s bid to build up its constellation of future companies and isolate them from its core business. Although it has a new name, Google is still Google, so it is being very opaque about the details of the changes.

One thing that jumps out is that it just restructured the biggest — actually the only — money-making division at the company. The existing business of search, ads, Android and YouTube, now under CEO Sundar Pichai, will have a new sales head.

Three, actually.

Omid Kordestani, Google’s head of sales from 1999 to 2009 who returned to his role last summer, is stepping down to advise Alphabet. Google has named a trio of veteran sales executives to replace him. They are: Philipp Schindler, a VP of sales and operation; Daniel Alegre, director of partnerships and a former Asia-Pacific lead; and Lorraine Twohill, the director of marketing.

The appointments aren’t extraordinarily surprising — Google has a penchant for picking loyal members for top positions. Yet the three are not known for being particularly aggressive within the company, according to multiple former Google sales execs.

They are, however, experienced operatives in the central business that remains under Pichai. “If the new Google is all about advertising and search, these are all people who know that business,” said one former Google sales exec.

Interestingly, all three made their marks outside of the U.S.

Schindler, who joined Google in 2005, was a lieutenant of Nikesh Arora, the business chief from 2009 to 2014. A former AOL salesman, Schindler began in Hamburg, Germany, for Google before moving up the ranks in Europe then into the global position. “He’s played the system pretty well,” said one former Google sales head.

Alegre, a Googler since 2007, also spent considerable time abroad as the sales lead in the Asia-Pacific region. Twohill, a native of Ireland, is respected internally and in the advertising world. She’s been at Google since 2003 and has been the company’s de facto chief marketing officer since 2009. For her first six years there, she worked in Europe.

How, exactly, the threesome will split duties for the $60 billion business — and how Kordestani, who remains an adviser to Google, will be involved — is one of the many unanswered questions in today’s news.

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