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Why Patrick Keane Left Google for CBS

Major Media Place a Priority on Luring Smart Vets

By Published on . 0

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Why, might you ask, would anyone leave Google, that foosball-filled mecca with rock-climbing walls, free sushi, on-site health care and, oh yeah, a stock price of $447? Because there are hundreds of web start-ups gunning to become the new Google, not to mention major media companies that are placing a priority on luring smart interactive veterans who will shepherd them into the digital age.

Patrick Keane (see Q &A here) recently left the company for CBS -- yes, that CBS, which is determined to reverse its reputation as your parents' TV network. Mr. Keane had the "dead-on skill set for what we need," CBS President-Sales Jo Ann Ross told Ad Age. "If I'm going to be out there with my sales force selling YouTube and that technology, who's a better person to be with me than someone who came from that world?"

It's hard to find "grown-ups" in the online-sales business, she said, then added, "I don't mean for that to come off too negative." But she's right. The dearth of senior-level interactive-trained marketing executives continues to be a refrain in the industry. Last year it was employees leaving established web players such as Yahoo and AOL for acquisition or IPO targets such as Facebook and YouTube. This latest move proves even Google isn't untouchable.

It's not always the money that drives people, said Don Leon, senior director at Stephen-Bradford Search. "Whether it's a big or small company, good people are constantly being courted with new opportunities, and it's easy to be seduced by the promise of being able to help a company cross another hurdle."
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