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Room At The Top: Google CIO Exits

Free food not enough to stop departures

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Douglas Merrill said farewell to the best job in the world, as he opted for a position with music label EMI.

Douglas MerrillDouglas Merrill
(Photo: Google.com)

Digital Daily noted the Valentine’s Day, 2008, quote from Merrill, where he called his position at Google “the best job in the world.” He will take up a task with EMI to run their digital initiatives.

John Furrier picked up on Merrill’s see-ya email to Googlers. Furrier said Merrill will try to figure out what EMI can do to make its business models more relevant to modern times.

Merrill won’t despair for a lack of challenges. The music industry as a whole has suffered as fans increasingly opt to obtain music digitally rather than buying CDs. Blame the labels for setting themselves up for a fall; after years of getting burned with high-priced CD purchases containing one or two good songs, fans had no qualms about ditching plastic for MP3s.

The Google executive’s departure comes amid a steady stream of Google higher-ups streaming for the exits. Variations on the “seeking new challenges” theme occur regularly when people like Merrill and new Facebook hire Sheryl Sandberg depart.

For folks who were with Google long enough to watch their stock options turn into real wealth, there’s probably little motivation to doing the same old thing each day. Without such a financial cushion, does a Douglas Merrill opt to parachute into the decaying remains of the music label industry, we wonder.

As the Los Angeles Times cited, EMI has lost money and artists, and is in the middle of serious cost cutting. If Merrill manages even a modest turnaround that stops the red ink from flowing, it will be an improvement.

Room At The Top: Google CIO Exits
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