George Reyes, who helped shepherd the amazing share-price growth of Google Inc., announced Tuesday that he plans to retire as chief financial officer. A release from Google said he indicated he will remain to assist in the search for a new CFO, a process the company expects to be complete by the end of the year.
"Working at Google these past five and a half years has been an extraordinary ride," Mr. Reyes, a Cuban American, said in a release. "I'm honored and flattered to have been a part of this great management team. I know I'm leaving the company in good hands with a remarkable team of professionals that will continue to build on Google's tremendous achievements."
Mr. Reyes played a key role in taking the Mountain View, Calif.-based company public, serving as the search engine's CFO since 2002. Investors spent $1.67 billion to participate in Google's initial public offering in August 2004, and since then the company's shares are trading at about five times the IPO price. Google recently missed second quarter earnings estimates, however, one of the few dark spots in what has been a remarkable financial performance.
"His successor will inherit a herd of Wall Street analysts chafing at the company's lack of official guidance and an employee-option pricing plan that will almost surely draw close SEC scrutiny one day," John Shinal, a senior columnist at MarketWatch.com, wrote after the news about the 53-year-old CFO broke. "Given the choice of putting out more Google fires – including those of his own making – against enjoying his Google millions (or maybe it's billions), Reyes' call is understandable."
"I've known and admired George since our days together at Sun (Microsystems)," Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt was quoted in a release. "As Google's CFO, George successfully navigated our innovative IPO, the regulatory demands of Sarbanes-Oxley and the management challenges of scaling a global finance organization. Though we fully appreciate his decision to step back from active management, we'll miss his thoughtfulness, good humor and wisdom."
"George has been a full partner in Google's global growth and development," added Google co-founder, Larry Page, in the release. "He has done an excellent job in keeping us financially disciplined while protecting the best of our entrepreneurial culture."
Previously, Mr. Reyes worked as interim CFO at ONI Systems and spent 13 years at Sun Microsystems. He has a master's degree in business administration from Santa Clara University and a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of South Florida.
Mr. Reyes is on the boards of Symantec and BEA Systems. His family has been a sort of silicon-era dynasty – Gregory Reyes, his nephew, was the CEO of Brocade until he resigned in an options backdating scandal, and his brother Gregorio Reyes is on the board of Seagate Technologies.
Google shares (Nasdaq: GOOG) closed down Tuesday, down $6.86 in light volume to $504.40, off the 52-week high of $558.58 but well above last August's $375.
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