Exclusive: Google to replace M&A chief

Fri Dec 7, 2012 6:59pm EST
 

By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc is replacing the head of its in-house mergers and acquisitions group, David Lawee, with one of its top lawyers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Don Harrison, a high-ranking lawyer at Google, will replace Lawee as head of the Internet search company's corporate development group, which oversees mergers and acquisitions, said the source, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Google is also planning to create a new late-stage investment group that Lawee will oversee, the source said.

Google declined to comment. Lawee and Harrison could not immediately be reached for comment.

One of the Internet industry's most prolific acquirers, Google has struck more than 160 deals to acquire companies and assets since 2010, according to regulatory filings. Many of Google's most popular products, including its online maps and Android mobile software, were created by companies or are based on technology that Google acquired.

Harrison, Google's deputy general counsel, will head up the M&A group at a time when the company is still in the process of integrating its largest acquisition, the $12.5 billion purchase of smartphone maker Motorola Mobility, which closed in May.

And he takes over at a time when the Internet search giant faces heightened regulatory scrutiny, with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission conducting antitrust investigations into Google's business practices. Several recent Google acquisitions have undergone months of regulatory review before receiving approval.

As deputy general counsel, Harrison has been deeply involved in the company's regulatory issues and many of its acquisitions. He joined Google more than five years ago and has completed more than 70 deals at the company, according to biographical information on the Google Ventures website.   Continued...

 
The Google logo is seen as Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt speaks at a promotional event for the Nexus 7 tablet in Seoul September 27, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji