Google's CFO: Don't worry, be happyJuly 20, 2011: 12:54 PM ET
Patrick Pichette, chief financial officer for Google, talks Android, Google Plus, and why it's not evil to pay 6% federal tax rate.
By Jennifer Reingold
FORTUNE -- Just chill out, people. That was the basic message of Google CFO Patrick Pichette at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference this morning. He deflected questions about the next stages of monetizing Google's (GOOG) products by saying, in effect, if you build it, it will come.
"Everybody's so nervous," he says. "Everyone's saying 'it's been 36 months since Android and you only have search. There are 550,000 new Android devices everyday. It's so refreshing to be in a company where you don't have that obsessive mindset of the next 30 days. Because then you can really dream about how do you change the world."
Pichette came across as confident and relaxed—if reluctant to give too many specifics on the growth of the business--saying that Larry Page is working hard at returning the company to its" startup velocity." One example: the twice-daily iterations of Google Plus, which was released on June 28 and already has 10 million users.
Despite some recent poaching of talent, he said the company received an amazing 600,000 job apps in the first quarter, and that attrition is at "the lowest rate it's been at in years." And he laughed off suggestions that YouTube hasn't been as successful as anticipated. "In its simplest form, it would be easy to make YouTube profitable now. But what a mistake it would be. If you try to stifle innovation too quickly, you lose the next wave."
Only in one way did Pichette admit that his company was not truly exceptional. When asked whether it is "evil" to pay a 6% federal tax rate, he laughed it off. "I don't make the laws," he said. "I'm just like every other corporation."