Confirmed: Google Product SVP Jonathan Rosenberg Stepping Down

Google product chief Jonathan Rosenberg is not the first high-profile victim of the Larry Page era. While Google has officially confirmed to us that Rosenberg is leaving effective this summer, he is apparently leaving voluntarily.

He is choosing family over making a new multi-year commitment to Mountain View.

More Time with Family

Google told us that the account in the Mercury News is more or less accurate. Rosenberg had previously said he intended to leave Google when his kids got older. Now they’re nearing college age.

Page apparently asked senior executives, including Rosenberg, for multi-year commitments as he plots a course forward. When presented with the need to make a decision about his commitment to Google Rosenberg reportedly told Page he didn’t want to continue for a multi-year term.

According to the Mercury News:

As Page reclaims the role of CEO from Eric Schmidt, Google’s co-founder has asked his senior executives to make long term, multiyear commitments that they will remain at the company. Rosenberg, a member of the executive committee that makes Google’s key strategic decisions, said in an interview Monday that he decided he could not fulfill that promise to Page, given his long-held plans to leave the company around the time his daughter goes to college in 2013.

Started Before IPO in 2002

Rosenberg has been at Google since 2002, before the IPO, and has been well compensated. Google has thus given him the financial freedom to make the choice he did.

Google indicated to us that Rosenberg may have some sort of consulting role with Google and that Larry Page will determine how to staff the position that Rosenberg occupied.

Though none have been announced, it’s possible that there will be other executive changes in the coming weeks and months as Page tries to streamline operations and prepare Google for the next phase of its evolution. Like Rosenberg many of the most-senior people at Google are financially independent.

Planning to Write Book about Google Culture

Apparently Rosenberg plans to write a book with Eric Schmidt “about the values, rules and creation of Google’s management culture.”

Postscript: Google provided the following quotes about Rosenberg’s departure:

From CEO Larry Page: “We tried to hire Jonathan multiple times because he was the only person we could imagine doing the job. It’s lucky we were so persistent because he’s built an amazing team–hiring great people, who’ve created amazing products that have benefited over a billion users around the world.”

From Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt: “Jonathan is phenomenal–hugely energetic, strategic, a man of real principle who always puts the user first. He’s been crucial to our success over the last nine years and I cannot thank him enough for everything he’s done. It’s been wonderful working with him–and great fun.”

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Features: Analysis | Google: Employees


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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