I’ve been wondering who will head up and run Google’s social network Facebook competitor. For me, the man/woman at the top steering the ship will probably be the single biggest factor as to whether Google can pull this off successfully (which needs to happen else the social network space will remain a monopoly).
And so with news that Google as acquired Slide I’m guessing that question has been answered: Max Levchin.
Max obviously has experience with social (from Slide) and also payments (from PayPal), the latter of which will be crucial to any financially successful social network/social games play going forward. Assuming I’m right (and Max must be getting some kind of top-job at Google), I’m actually glad it’s not an existing Googler – they’re are some great people working there at all levels but I can’t identify any executive-level folks who really get social.
I’m also guessing Max Levchin as GM is more palatable to Google than Mark Pincus, which further suggests that an acquisition of Zynga by Google is off the table now.
In other thoughts, I’m wondering whether common shareholders will see any return? With Slide raising $78m at a $500m valuation and then a sale for $128m, will there be much left after costs + liquidation preferences, etc?