Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

If (When) Goopon Closes, Remember Her Name: Google's Commerce Chief Stephanie Tilenius

As the possible acquisition of Groupon by Google chugs along–sources tell me bankers are starting to swan around annoyingly, which could be a sign of fruition, but we shall see–BoomTown realized that I have been remiss in mentioning one likely key person in the deal strategy.

And, I am only guessing, that would be the Silicon Valley search giant’s relatively new head of commerce, Stephanie Tilenius (pictured above).

That’s because the unassuming former longtime eBay exec–you won’t see her all over the scene swanning, for sure–is one of the few at the company sharp enough to have seen Groupon’s copious local retail data from its social buying business as a strong fit into Google.

I met Tilenius a dog’s age ago when she co-founded PlanetRx.com, a very early online drugstore in Web 1.0.

In her long tenure at eBay, she ran eBay North America, global product management for eBay Marketplaces, merchant services at its PayPal unit, eBay Motors and eBay Asia Pacific and Latin America.

After she left eBay in late 2009, Tilenius came to Google early this year, in the newly created position of VP of commerce. In that job, she has purview over Google Checkout, payment system and e-commerce.

And, while Google’s former search experience and now new local head Marissa Mayer is often mentioned as benefiting from this Goopon deal, it seems to me that it is Tilenius who will be charged with taking Google in this pricey and risky new direction.

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

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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