Google Spends $1.6 Billion (So Far) On 40 Acqusitions In 2010, Loses Key Personnel

Google just filed its quarterly 10Q statement. Among the things in the filing is detail about Google’s acquisitions in 2010. There were 40 costing Google a total of $1.6 billion and change.

There were three substantial acquisitions (mostly bought with stock) and a whole bunch of smaller acquisitions that Google lumps together in the filing: “During the nine months ended September 30, 2010, we also completed 37 other acquisitions for a total cash consideration of approximately $626 million.”

The big three were AdMob ($655 million stock, $26 million cash), Slide ($179 million cash) and On2 Technologies ($95 million stock, $28 million cash). The AdMob shares were either vested or on an accelerated vesting schedule because AdMob founder Omar Hamoui has left the building, only about five or so months after the acquisition formally closed.

However less than a month after the closing I discovered on LinkedIn that AdMob VP Ali Diab (former Yahoo and co-founder of Ripple TV) was gone and had founded a tech hedge fund. And while Google has plenty of capable people to run mobile ads, these (and other losses) are a partial blow. “Omar and his talented team” were part of the reason for the AdMob acquisition. Another reason of course was to keep the AdMob business away from Apple, which went on to buy Quattro Wireless after it was outbid by Google for AdMob. Many of the “talented [AdMob] team” remain at Google including Jason Spero, Tony Nethercutt and others.

Another apparent and potentially major loss for Google is Lars Rasmussen, who conceived of and built Google Wave, a compelling product that was never properly explained to the public or a solution in search of a problem depending on your perspective. Rasmussen also was one of the creators of Google Maps, among the company’s most visible and successful products. According to TechCrunch Rasmussen will join other former Google employees at Facebook. (In September Google lost Emily White to Facebook, where she is now Sr. Director of Local.)

Rasmussen’s departure may not be a blow to Google in terms of any hole that it creates for the company right now. Rather its sting may be felt later in competitive products that Rasmussen helps Facebook build.

A less significant “departure” for Google is YouTube CEO Chad Hurley, who is moving into an “advisory role” at the company he co-founded. This is a transitional move as he segues out of the company I would guess. Salar Kamangar, who has apparently been running day to day operations for some time, becomes the new YouTube CEO. YouTube recently took over Google TV from the Android gang based on the need to shore up and smooth over troubled relationships with broadcasters and content producers who have been blocking access to their programming.  (But see update/correction in Postscript 2 below.)

Thanks to Gary Price for alerting us to the filing of the 10Q.

Postscript: See also our perspective piece, On Google Growing Up, Losing Employees & Being The New “California”

Postscript 2: In an email today, Google told us that the Google TV organizational shift to YouTube had nothing to do with the negotiations with the networks or the recent “blocking” incident. Here’s a formal statement provided by Google:

There is no correlation between the recent blocking by three US networks of Google TV accessing their full-length Web shows and a reorganization that YouTube did over a month ago. Google TV has been closely aligned with YouTube for years and its reporting structure has remained largely unchanged. The reorganization YouTube did over a month ago focused on streamlining our operations so we could make faster decisions and align team goals with the company’s overall business objectives. Just like any rapidly growing organization, it is important for YouTube to evolve and grow to ensure further success in the future. The recently created YouTube Content Organization is run by VP of Content Partnerships, Dean Gilbert.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Facebook | Google: Business Issues | Google: Employees | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Mobile | Google: Web Search | Top News


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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