By Jessica E. Vascellaro from this morning’s Wall Street Journal
Dipchand “Deep” Nishar, a longtime Google Inc. executive who helped start its mobile business and other key products, is leaving the company to become a senior executive at LinkedIn Corp.
Mr. Nishar, 40, in January will become vice president of product strategy for the social network that is focused on professionals. He will lead LinkedIn’s efforts to develop new products and services on top of its social networking site. LinkedIn chairman Reid Hoffman, who had previously filled the senior product role, will remain at the company and shift his focus on broader strategy issues, Mr. Hoffman said in an interview.
Mr. Nishar, who former Google colleagues described as one of the company’s unsung heroes, is the latest executive to leave the maturing Mountain View, Calif., search giant. As the company has grown, executives are departing for bigger roles at smaller start-ups and other opportunities, forcing the online advertising juggernaut to reorganize and replenish its ranks.
Sheryl Sandberg, formerly vice president for global sales and operations for Google, left the company to become chief operating officer for Facebook Inc. earlier this year. Other executives who have recently departed include Douglas Merrill, Google’s chief information officer, who became president of EMI Music’s digital business in April.
“We’re grateful for Deep’s contributions over the last five and a half years and wish him well in his new job,” said Google spokesman Matt Furman in a statement.
Mr. Nishar said he chose to leave Google because he wanted to go from “building impactful products to an impactful company.” “The kinds of things LinkedIn is doing are truly shaping the way professionals work,” he said, noting that he plans to push the company—which is based down the street from Google—to develop more services that will help professionals manage their lives online.
Mr. Nishar held a range of jobs at Google, including building the back-end infrastructure for Google’s monetization systems, starting its mobile initiatives and, more recently, overseeing product development for the Asia-Pacific region. He worked closely with Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s senior vice president of product management, and was the recipient of a rare and lucrative accolade given to employees who have made extraordinary contributions to the company, known as the Google Founders Award.
His departure comes as the recession has made moving from a mature company to a start-up more risky. But LinkedIn, which has 32 million registered users, is better positioned than many. The company has been bulking up on management and money, raising $53 million from venture capitalists at a $1 billion valuation in June and an additional $22.7 million from strategic partners, including SAP Ventures and Goldman Sachs, in October. “I don’t view LinkedIn as risky by any means,” said Mr. Nishar.