Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Who Replaces Tim Armstrong at Google? The David Rosenblatt Fan Club Pipes Up.


Tim Armstrong was considered a star inside and outside of Google, and his former company worked hard to keep the sales executive on the reservation.

But now that’s he’s bolted for Time Warner (TWX), who will replace him?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has already promised to name a successor “in the coming weeks,” and he’s narrowed the field by declaring it will be an internal candidate.

Who might that be? According to a (very informal) flash poll of Googlers, ex-Googlers and Google competitors I conducted last night, the answer should be obvious: David Rosenblatt (pictured), the former Doubleclick CEO, who now runs Google’s display business.

A sampling of the responses: “The only choice,” “I would assume they will work hard on Rosenblatt, who may not do it,” “Shoe-in,” etc.

The flip side of the conventional wisdom is that Rosenblatt, who came aboard a year ago when Google (GOOG) completed its $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick, may be leaving, and will leave if he doesn’t get Armstrong’s job.

For more Rosenblatt testimonials, consult this Silicon Alley Insider article, where the blog’s readers anointed the executive as the best choice to run Yahoo (YHOO).

But what if Schmidt, like Yahoo’s board, decides to ignore the Rosenblatt fan club?

My respondents have plenty of other suggestions. And unlike Rosenblatt, most of these other would-be candidates were brought on by Armstrong, which may or may not count for something. In no particular order:

Jeff Levick, VP, industry development & marketing, the Americas. Googler since 2001.

Tom Phillips, director of search and analytics; former head of Doubleclick integration; former head of Google print ads. Googler since 2006.

Eileen Naughton, director, media platforms; former head of East Coast sales. Googler since 2007.

Penry Price, VP, North American ad sales. Googler since 2004.

David Fischer, VP, global online sales. Googler since 2002.

Nikesh Arora, president, European, Middle East and African markets. Googler since 2004.

Joan Braddi, VP search services. Googler since 2000.

All right, readers–your turn to weigh in. Who do you want filling Armstrong’s large shoes? And who do you think Google will actually pick?

If you feel strongly enough to register using your real name, please leave a comment below. If you want to do this sotto voce, you can reach me directly at

And if you want to be completely anonymous, which is understandable but less useful to me (I won’t have any way of reaching you for follow-up), you can use the blind tip box here. I’ll update this post or craft a new one as I gather more string.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle