Who is Omid Kordestani?

Omid Kordestani is a businessman who has held various senior roles at Twitter and Google since 1999. One of several Iranian-American success stories, Kordestani is a tech billionaire who was Google’s ninth employee and critical to the company’s early revenue generation.

Want to know more about Omid Kordestani? Some of his story and accomplishments are explained in the sections below.

Early life, education, and career

Kordestani was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1963 and attended the Italian Catholic school known as Andisheh Don Bosco.

After his father died in 1976, Kordestani moved to California and later graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from San Jose State University.

Kordestani then received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1991. His first career role was a four-year stint at Netscape Communications.

Starting as director of OEM Sales, Kordestani established relationships with major clients such as AOL, Amazon, and Intel and increased Netscape’s revenue from $88 million to $200 million in the space of 18 months.

Over the 1990s, he also worked in various product management, business development, and marketing roles with The 3DO Company, HP, and Go Corporation.

Kordestani joins Google

Kordestani joined Google in May 1999 as its eleventh employee where he lead the development of the company’s first business model.

This, according to his LinkedIn profile, saw Kordestani grow the company from a few employees and its first dollar in revenue to a company with over 12,000 employees and $20 billion in revenue.

Kordestani’s successes did not go unnoticed, with TIME recognizing him as one of the “100 People Who Shape Our World” in 2006. He was also chosen as the Persian Person of the Year at the Persian Awards in 2007.


After a decade in senior positions at Google, Kordestani transitioned from an operational role to one of advisor to the office of the CEO in 2009.

Kordestani returned briefly to Google as its chief business officer but was poached by Twitter where he became the platform’s Executive Chairman in October 2015.

Kordestani was replaced in June 2020 after a power struggle with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and hedge fund Elliott Management.

He remained on the board until it was dissolved in October 2022 with new owner Elon Musk planning to take the company private.

Today, Kordestani is chairman of the Board at British multinational Pearson, an education and mass media company that was once the largest book publisher in the world.


Kordestani supports various philanthropic causes related to medicine, education, and issues that affect Iranian-Americans.

He co-founded the PARSA Community Foundation in 2006 to further Iranian culture, heritage, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy in California.

These efforts enable Kordestani to draw attention to the history of relations between Iran and the United States and break down racial or cultural stereotypes. 

Key takeaways

  • Omid Kordestani is an Iranian-American businessman who has held various senior roles at Twitter and Google since 1999.
  • During Kordestani’s four-year stint at Netscape Communications, he established relationships with major clients such as AOL, Amazon, and Intel as director of OEM sales. His ability to grow Netscape’s revenue soon attracted the attention of Google.
  • Kordestani joined Google in May 1999 as its eleventh employee where he lead the development of the company’s first business model. Since that time, he has served in operational and advisory roles for both Google and Twitter. 

Read Next: Google Business Model, History of Google.

What makes up Google’s Empire?

Google Business Model

Google (now Alphabet) primarily makes money through advertising. The Google search engine, while free, is monetized with paid advertising. In 2021 Google’s advertising generated over $209 billion (beyond Google Search, which comprises YouTube Ads and the Network Members Sites) compared to $257 billion in net sales. Advertising represented over 81% of net sales, followed by Google Cloud ($19 billion) and Google’s other revenue streams (Google Play, Pixel phones, and YouTube Premium).

Google Revenue Model

A hidden revenue business model is a pattern for revenue generation that keeps users out of the equation, so they don’t pay for the service or product offered. For instance, Google’s users don’t pay for the search engine. Instead, the revenue streams come from advertising money spent by businesses bidding on keywords.

Google Other Bets

Of Google’s (Alphabet) over $257 billion revenues for 2021, Google also generated $753 million from a group of startup bets, which Google considers potential moonshots (companies that might open up new industries). Those Google’s bets also generated a loss for the company of over $5.2 billion. In short, Google is using the money generated by search and betting it on other innovative industries. 

Google Organizational Structure

Google (Alphabet) has a cross-functional (team-based) organizational structure known as a matrix structure with some degree of flatness. Over the years, as the company scaled and it became a tech giant, its organizational structure is morphing more into a centralized organization.

How Big is Google

Google is an attention merchant that – in 2021 – generated $209 billion (over 81% of revenue) from ads (Google Search, YouTube Ads, and Network sites), followed by Google Play, Pixel phones, YouTube Premium (a $28 billion segment), and Google Cloud ($19 billion). Over $31.5 billion went toward R&D (12.3% of its revenues).

YouTube Business Model

YouTube was acquired for almost $1.7 billion in 2006 by Google. It makes money through advertising and subscription revenues. YouTube advertising network is part of Google Ads, generating more than $28B in revenue by 2021. YouTube also makes money with its paid memberships and premium content.

Google Traffic Acquisition Costs

The traffic acquisition cost represents the expenses incurred by an internet company, like Google, to gain qualified traffic – on its pages – for monetization. Over the years, Google has been able to reduce its traffic acquisition costs and, in any case, keep it stable. In 2021 Google spent 21.75% of its total advertising revenues (over $45.56 billion) to guarantee its traffic on several desktop and mobile devices across the web.

Read Next: Google Business Model, How Does Google Make Money, Google Other Bets, Moonshot Thinking, YouTube Business Model.

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