Top Exec Singh Cassidy Leaves Google to Go to Accel Partners as CEO-In-Residence–A BoomTown Interview (Plus Press Release)

Published on April 7, 2009
by Kara Swisher


Another Goog-Bye.

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (pictured here), president of Google’s Asia-Pacific and Latin American operations, is leaving the search giant and joining Silicon Valley venture firm Accel Partners as a CEO-in-residence.

Singh Cassidy, 39, is one of Google’s more visible execs and also one of its highest-ranking women leaders. She has been at Google (GOOG) since 2003.

Previous to that, she was at Yodlee, an online banking start-up, which was backed by Accel–along with stints at Amazon (AMZN) and OpenTV (OPTV).

She is also the second top Google exec to depart the company recently. Tim Armstrong, president of the Americas and a top advertising SVP, left the company a month ago to become CEO and chairman of Time Warner (TWX) online unit AOL.

While any executive exodus from Google is much noticed, especially in such close proximity, the moves by both are probably not too surprising, given that the powerful company–as it matures–has limited avenues for its typically ambitious managers.

It was well known that Armstrong had long wanted to have the top job at a company and that Singh Cassidy is a longtime entrepreneur with higher goals.

Singh Cassidy said as much in an interview with BoomTown last night.

“I was at the end of my streak [at Google] and ready to take the next step and run or grow my own company,” she said. “It is key for me to be stepping out and spreading my wings now.”

Where Singh Cassidy will fly to next is not determined yet, she said, but it will be in the consumer Internet space, she said, although it could be at a start-up or a more established company.

“I think what I was known for at Google was scaling for growth opportunities and I am interested in finding a company with a lot of momentum and need for scale,” said Singh Cassidy.

(Helloooo, Twitter?!? Here’s a way to get a little bit of Googley management without, you know, actually selling out to Google.)

Google CEO and Chairman Eric Schmidt said in a statement about Singh Cassidy’s departure:

“We are deeply grateful to Sukhinder for all that she has done for Google since she joined in 2003. She’s an ambitious, entrepreneurial executive who has a proven track record of building successful operations–most notably, developing Google’s advertising sales teams across Asia Pacific and Latin America. We wish her only the best as she pursues her passion to lead and run her own company.”

A place like Accel is often the first stop for consumer tech players like Singh Cassidy before heading out to another leadership job in the industry. It has backed companies like Facebook, Glam Media and many others.

Yahoo (YHOO) EVP Jeff Weiner, for example, was an executive-in-residence at both Accel Partners and Greylock Partners when he left the Internet giant last year before taking a job in December as president at business networking start-up LinkedIn, which is a Greylock investment.

Interestingly, the CEO-in-residence title is a unique one at Accel, which typically gives high-level exiting managers like Singh Cassidy that EIR title.

But that’s what Singh Cassidy is clearly aiming for. She said she was still sad to be departing Google, even as she was looking forward to the next chapter of her career.

“I am leaving a tremendous platform…but Google or any big company does not present the opportunities to pursue management prowess that you can only get as a CEO,” said Singh Cassidy. “I hope the next thing I jump into will have that and also be long and enduring.”

Here’s the entire Accel press release on Singh Cassidy:

Accel Partners Adds Google Executive Sukhinder Singh Cassidy as CEO-in-Residence

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy Brings Growth and Early Stage Experience to the Global Firm

PALO ALTO, CA, April 8, 2009–Accel Partners, a leading global venture and growth equity firm funding companies from inception through the growth stage, today announced the addition of Sukhinder Singh Cassidy as CEO-in-Residence. Ms. Singh Cassidy joins Accel from Google where she served most recently as President for Asia-Pacific (APAC) & Latin American Operations. In this role, she was responsible for all of Google’s commercial operations in both regions, and built the company’s presence from inception to its current scale serving users, advertisers and partners across 40 domains and 103 different countries throughout APAC and Latin America.

“Having already worked with the Accel team as a Google executive and an entrepreneur, I know first-hand Accel’s approach to engaging and supporting their companies,” said Ms. Singh Cassidy, Accel Partners. “Accel’s portfolio of category-transforming digital media companies such as AdMob, Etsy, Facebook, Glam Media, Kayak, and others creates a rich set of opportunities for marketplace dialog and new category creation.”

Ms. Singh Cassidy has a long-standing relationship with Accel having co-founded Accel-backed Yodlee, a leader in the internet financial application and online banking space. As CEO-In-Residence, Ms. Singh Cassidy will be evaluating new venture and growth equity opportunities in partnership with Accel in addition to working with companies in Accel’s digital media and advertising portfolio. “Sukhinder’s reputation as an entrepreneurial leader in both startups and Google are well known in the industry,” said Jim Breyer, Partner, Accel Partners. “We’re very pleased to have Sukhinder join the Accel team.”

“Sukhinder is the rare executive who has excelled both at founding internet companies as well as running a multi-billion dollar business within Google,” said Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, Partner, Accel Partners. “Her experience will be a real asset for both Accel’s early stage and growth franchise.”

“Sukhinder is a world-class Internet executive,” said Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and former Google colleague of Ms. Singh Cassidy. “It will be great to be working together again as part of the Accel family.”

Prior to running Asia Pacific and Latin America, Ms. Singh Cassidy joined Google in 2003 as the first General Manager for Google Local & Maps, helping to launch these innovative new services, then expanding her responsibilities to lead the company’s strategic partnerships for Google Books, Scholar, and Video. From 1999-2003, Ms. Singh Cassidy was Co-founder and Senior Vice President of Business Development for Inc., a leading solutions provider to the global financial services industry. Ms Singh Cassidy started her Internet career in strategy and business development, working for and interactive TV provider OpenTV. For her work in the Internet industry, Ms. Singh Cassidy has been profiled in numerous publications globally, including Fortune, Business Week, Canada Post, India Today, and the book, Innovation Nation, profiling Canada’s most innovative business leaders.

In addition to Accel’s continued investments in early-stage startups from the Accel X early stage fund, Accel announced its $480 million growth fund in December of 2008. This fund will focus on growth equity opportunities across a broad range of sectors, including: information technology, internet, digital media, mobile, networking, software, and services. As with Accel’s early-stage efforts, Accel Growth Fund will play an active role in helping entrepreneurs and management teams build category-defining, global businesses.

About Accel Partners

Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of excellence and innovation in the global venture and growth equity business. It is dedicated to partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class companies, from inception through growth. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, California; London, UK; and Bangalore, India; as well as in China via the IDG-Accel Partnership.

With over $6 billion under management, Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful category-defining companies including: Actuate, Alfresco, AMCC, Arrowpoint, Baidu, BBN, Brightcove, ComScore, Etsy, Facebook, Focus Media, Foundry Networks, Gameforge, Glam Media, Imperva, Infinera, Interwoven, JBoss, Kayak, Macromedia, metroPCS, Mu Sigma, Polycom/PictureTel, Portal Software, QlikTech, Rapt, Real Networks, Redback Networks, Riverbed,, UUNet, Veritas,, Webroot, XenSource, and Zimbra. For more information, visit the Accel Partners web site at

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

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