Re/code: What the Return of Omid Kordestani Says About the Mountain View Monolith

Posted by Re/code on July 20, 2015.

By Mark Bergen

It is no exaggeration to say that Omid Kordestani may be the most likable person in Silicon Valley.

A simple reporting task: Find people who worked with Google’s chief business officer ready to lavish him with praise. “He’s a special person in the Valley” (Jeff Levick, ex-Google). “Very positive, very can-do” (Mike McCue, ex-Netscape, Kordestani’s prior company). “It’s really hard to question or doubt him” (Dave Girouard, ex-Google). “He’s a great leader” (Dennis Woodside, ex-Google). “He must have been born that way” (Roberta Katz, ex-Netscape)…

The first thing many acquaintances note about Kordestani is his smile. It is wide, toothy and ever present. He wore it amid a candid graduation speech, in 2007, at his alma mater, San Jose State University, when he detailed how the 1970s sitcom drew him to his adopted country. The U.S. seemed like “a happy place,” he thought, and convinced his mother to emigrate. A family friend was studying engineering at SJSU, and Kordestani would follow the same path.

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