Executive Search Firm Nets $128 Million for 2001 Google Recruiting Search

This is amazing. In 2001 Google hired executive search firm Heidrich & Struggles to help recruit a CEO. As their fee, the firm negotiated warrants which allowed them to purchase 1.2 million Series B shares of Google for $0.30 per share. After exercising these warrants, they sold their shares today and netted $128 million. Not bad for finding one Chief Executive Officer.

The firm will now have to change it name, since there will be no more Struggles for these folks.

Lesson: it’s not a bad idea for professional service providers (and contractors at early stage companies) to negotiate for stock or warrants (maybe in exchanged for reduced or waived fees) with promising companies. I know many early stage CEOs who would trade stock for services, since cash is often more precious than equity early on.

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Yahoo Buys Music Match: Adds 225,000 Subscribers

Yahoo is paying $160 million for San Diego-based Music Match. With it, Yahoo gets 225,000 subscribers who pay $8 per month for the all-you-can-eat subscription service that offers 700,000 songs to computer users. This is similar to RealNetworks Rhapsody service, which has more than 550,000 subscribers. Napster is the first to offer an all-you-can eat portable service, which utilizes DRM technology from Microsoft to allow you to “rent” all this music and play it on your portable device–but it will expire if you discontinue your subscription. This model is far superior to the pay-per-download model–a better value for consumers and an annuity for the provider.

With Yahoo buying into the subscription model, and with Microsoft aggressively promoting its Janus DRM service, I think the demise of pay-per-download services (like iTunes) is accelerating.

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Largest IPO in Utah History

I blogged recently about the IPO of Extra Space Storage, which may have been the largest IPO in Utah history.

But that IPO will surely be dwarfed by the forthcoming IPO of Huntsman Chemical. Some speculate it may raise as much as $1.5 billion. The company has debts of approximately $5.8 billion, which it needs to pay down.

Now it will be interesting to see Huntsman’s market capitalization. I have a Utah Portfolio on Yahoo Finance which tracks all the publicly traded companies in Utah, and with Utah ties. Zions tops the list with a $5.5 billion market cap. Questar is at $3.3 billion. Nu Skin is at $1.8 billion. Huntsman, with 15,000 employees and revenues approaching $10 billion annually, may top them all.

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Coming Soon: Hard Drives in Cell Phones

It won’t be long now.


In the next few years, most cell phones will have hard drives, so hundreds of millions of people will get hooked on listening to their favorite music and audio books wherever they go–not what radio broadcasters play. XM and Sirius satellite radio are already changing the landscape for radio stations. MP3 players are proliferating. And now this.

I’m hoping it will become practical to

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Shopping.com IPO reduced slightly

From CBS Marketwatch: Shopping.com will raise $126 million instead of $143 million in its IPO.

The Israeli e-commerce firm said that it’ll offer 5 million shares and that inside stockholders will sell 1.9 million shares, down from 2.9 million previously. The company still plans to price the IPO at $14 to $16 per share. Goldman Sachs and CS First Boston are underwriting the deal. Shopping.com, which received about 38 percent of its 2003 revenue from the company’s relationship with Google (GOOG: news, chart, profile), plans to list its stock on Nasdaq under the symbol “SHOP.”

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