Google CIO Douglas Merrill Departs for EMI

Douglas Merrill will begin employment at EMI’s music unit on April 28 and work from EMI Music’s headquarters in Los Angeles. He joined Google in 2003 and had previously been its vice president of engineering, overseeing billing and revenue technology.

Facebook Inc hired Google executive Sheryl Sandberg on March 4 to be its operating chief. Three weeks later, the social networking site hired Google’s director of social media, Ethan Beard. The two renowned companies compete for online advertising revenue.

Google, which received 99 percent of its $16.6 billion in sales last year from click ads, has dropped 33 percent this year on the Nasdaq Stock Market as growth in the number of people clicking on its Internet advertisements slows.

Merrill, who will serve as President of Digital Business, will be responsible for online music sales over the Internet and mobile phones.

Researcher ComScore Inc said last month that clicks on Google’s sponsored links rose 3 percent to 515 million in February from a year earlier. In January, Google had no growth, after a 25 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2007.