Google to replace M&A chief

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 08, 2012 18:56 hrs

pGoogle 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 matterppDon Harrison a high-ranking lawyer at Google will replace Lawee as head of the Internet search companys corporate development group which oversees mergers and acquisitions said the source who spoke anonymously because he was not authorised to speak publiclyppGoogle 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 commentppOne of the Internet industrys most prolific acquirers Google has struck more than 160 deals to acquire companies and assets since 2010 according to regulatory filings Many of Googles most popular products including its online maps and Android mobile software were created by companies or are based on technology that Google acquiredppHarrison Googles 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 125 billion purchase of smartphone maker Motorola Mobility which closed in MayppAnd he takes over at a time when the Internet search giant faces heightened regulatory scrutiny with the US Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission conducting antitrust investigations into Googles business practices Several recent Google acquisitions have undergone months of regulatory review before receiving approvalppAs deputy general counsel Harrison has been deeply involved in the companys 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 websiteppHarrison is an adviser to Google Ventures the companys nearly four-year old venture division which provides funding for start-up companiesppWhile most of Googles acquisitions are small and mid-sized deals that do not meet the threshold for disclosure of financial terms Google has a massive war chest of 457 billion in cash and marketable securities to fund acquisitions Lawee who took over the M&A group in 2008 has had hits and misses during his tenure Google shut down social media company Slide one year after acquiring it for 179 million for exampleppThe planned late-stage investment group has not been finalised the source said The fund might operate separately from Google Ventures according to the source &ldquoThink of it as a private equity fund inside of Google" the source saidppThe company recently said it would increase the cash it allocates to Google Ventures to 300 million a year up from 200 million potentially helping it invest in later-stage financing roundsppGoogle finished Fridays regular trading session down 1 percent or 692 at 68421p

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