Google (GOOG) suddenly finds itself needing a new CFO. What do we make of this very sudden move? Usually key positions such as this have some succession planning behind it. Sounds like maybe Google did not do planning, which is only another sign of immaturity in this mega cap company. In any event, this is not a huge buy signal.
Did he leave when his net worth was incredibly large and there was no longer a financial need to work? Probably. Google has had one of the best rides in the history of capitalism. Google's almost impossible challenge will be to continue to meet incredibly difficult expectations. Better to leave the driving to someone else.
Google may now learn a few things about itself. The new candidate will need to meet the insane requirements of Wall Street. The new applicants will want to ask some very interesting questions, which may surprise the two founders. The new applicants will already have their own street cred and will not need the job. The company has grown very quickly and there are almost always lumps under the carpet that will be discovered. Google will have to think their way through some fundamental issues.
If the executive search goes on for too long, eyebrows will be raised. The risk is more for the account of Larry Page and Sergey Brin if the new candidate does not work out, for whatever reason. Besides which, a recruiter will get this plum assignment.
Many feel that Google is not yet seasoned by fire. They have not yet dealt with a serious crisis or problem. So far everything has been breaking their way. So what kind of CFO do you hire and what signal does that give to the market?
Or is the fact that Google is caught with their pants down and needs to find a CFO in a hurry the first of many problems that may come their way?