Another Google Exec Jumps Ship, This Time Its the CIO

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Google has lost yet another top member of its executive team. This time it is Chief Information Officer (CIO) Douglas Merrill, who will be joining music company EMI, where he will serve as president of its digital music business.

According to a statement issued by EMI on Wednesday, Merril will head up a new global function which includes digital strategy, technology, and business development.

But now the question remains – has Google peaked, in both its ability to retain talent and well as in their stock price? And, what can they do to stop the brain drain?

Last month Sheryl Sandberg (VP of Global Online Sales) left Google for Facebook, as did Ethan Beard (Director of Social Media). Last August, CFO George Reyes announced his retirement, and Google has yet to appoint a new CFO since. And these are just some of the people at the top.

When Google went public in 2004 at $80 per share, the stock was eventually able to climb as high as $742 at its peak in November 2007. But since then, the stock has lost a lot of its value and is now hovering around $468/share.

Are Googlers checking out now while the getting is still relatively good and they are able to cash in on those stock options? It seems like that is the most likely scenario, and hopefully Google is taking a hard look at this to come up with some ways to combat a further exodus.

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  • There’s always new talent. Out with the old in with the new.

    Also with new people come new ideas.

  • While some people are leaving Google I don’t think they are in any serious trouble. They still seem better positioned than any organization I can think of. And I think some people leaving are crazy. Facebook? Oh well, we will see…

  • Google employees have probably always been leaving the company at the same rate, but its just that a few of them moved to Facebook so everyone started paying attention?

  • Andrew Kampf

    Google is such a high-profiled company that anything that happens with it attracts attention. They have some of the most brilliant minds in the world working for them and staying with them and their products are great. This is nothing to worry about.

  • I’m sure these guys are leaving with a lot of stock options, why not leave to join another up and coming company that can also offer valuable stock options.

  • Google stole Top personnel from Microsoft and now Google loses some high valued personnel themselves. Seems like the scales are balancing.