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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