Facebook Takes Global Sales Exec From Google

    June 4, 2009

Facebook’s convinced yet another important Googler to join its ranks.  Grady Burnett, who held the title "Director, Online Sales & Operations" while working for the search giant in Ann Arbor, will now be in charge of Facebook’s global online and inside sales.

Burnett’s credentials suggest that he’s rather well-suited to the job.  Before Google, DoubleClick had him in a North American agency sales position.  Burnett got an MBA from Harvard, too.

Grady Burnett

Then here’s an interesting (though perhaps irrelevant) detail concerning Burnett’s past: between 1995 and 1998, he was a professional tennis player on the ATP Tour.

Anyway, this fresh development seems to signify that Facebook is taking more of an interest in making money instead of just attracting users.  And it probably shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign that Google’s lost too many steps, since Burnett told Bill Shea in an email, "[T]his was a hard decision for me and my family. . . .  I thoroughly enjoyed my nearly four years working for Google."

On a side note, it’s a little ironic to see this switch happen even as the Justice Department is investigating the (alleged) existence of no-poaching pacts between a number of tech companies.