What Made Google CFO Patrick Pichette Say 'Goodbye?'

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 11, 2015

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Google CFO Patrick Pichette is leaving the tech major to go backpacking, the 52-year-old executive announced in a post on his personal Google+ Web page on Tuesday.

Pichette’s decision to retire after about 30 years of “nearly nonstop work,” including his seven years at Google, appears to be reasonable by analysts and people within the company, even though shares of Google closed down 2.4 percent at $555.01 and were unchanged after hours, notes Reuters.

A former telecom industry executive who joined Google in 2008, Pichette is known for maintaining spending discipline even as Google has embarked on ambitious “moon shot” projects including self-driving cars, satellites and healthcare.

For Google, Pichette’s exit marks the latest change in its upper ranks. Last year, Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora left the company to become vice chairman of Japan’s SoftBank Corp. Vic Gundotra, the head of Google’s social networking services, also left in April last year.

Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page in October turned over day-to-day management of major products and services to Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai, freeing him up to focus on bigger-picture issues.

Pichette said in his blog post that he decided to retire after a recent trip climbing Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro when his wife suggested they continue traveling. “I could not find a good argument to tell Tamar we should wait any longer for us to grab our backpacks and hit the road,” Pichette wrote, referring to his wife.

In a separate post on Google+, CEO Larry Page wished Pichette well, describing his “unconventional” farewell note as “well worth reading.”

Google, which dominates the online advertising business, expects to find a replacement for Pichette within six months, the company said in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Pichette’s retirement date has not been set and Google said Pichette intends to help find a successor.