Why Does Google Need a Chief Business Officer?


Sep. 30 2019, Updated 7:03 p.m. ET

Google’s chief business officer

Google, Alphabet’s (GOOGL) largest unit in terms of revenues and profits, hired Philipp Schindler as its chief business officer (or CBO) in 2015. Schindler actually joined Google in 2005 and held various leadership roles before he rose to the position of CBO. Before moving to Google, Schindler worked at AOL, leading marketing and sales activities in Germany (EWG). AOL was purchased by Verizon (VZ) for $4.4 billion.

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Schindler spoke at a recent Credit Suisse conference where he discussed what his job entails and effectively shed light on why Google needs a chief business officer. As the CBO, Schindler oversees global and regional sales activities at Google, which includes YouTube. Google, whose revenue grew 23.3% year-over-year to $27.5 billion in 3Q17, requires a chief business officer to do four things.

Build partnerships

At Google, the chief business officer works closely with partners, and these partners include publishers and advertisers. The focus here is helping these partners to be successful in whatever they are doing. This is out of the realization that since Google’s business is largely built on a revenue sharing model, it cannot be successful without its partners being successful.

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Service operations

Google’s CBO ensures that the company’s partners and users get the best services the company can provide them.

Pursue growth

Stimulating more growth is another area that falls within the purview of Google’s chief business officer. As such, Schindler says that he spends quite a bit of time in high-growth Asia-Pacific and Latin America markets such as China (MCHI), India (INDA), and Brazil (EWZ).

Steer ship

Google is a large corporation with multiple moving parts, and the chief business officer is at the center of steering this gigantic ship, especially as it battles a growing wave of competition from Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), and Snap (SNAP) for digital advertising budgets.


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