Inside Google Cloud
Hear how this Google M&A Lead is helping to build a more diverse Cloud ecosystem
Editor's note: Wayne Kimball, Jr. is Principal for Google Cloud's Mergers & Acquisitions business. He is also the founder of Black+TechAmplify, a corporate development initiative to accelerate the growth of traditionally untapped, diverse founders. In both cases, he says, it's about creating empathy around people and processes to create greater value.
You're a "boomerang," or returning Googler. How do you view your career?
It's been a fun journey, with a lot of excitement, work, and rewards. I studied engineering at North Carolina A&T State University, the nation's largest HBCU. I was student body president, and one of my goals was to enhance the technology experience for fellow students by convincing the university to transition to Gmail. A friend of a friend helped put me in touch with Google, who then came to campus for strategic conversations with administrators and to meet with students. The school ended up adopting Gmail, and soon thereafter, I was offered a job at Google, becoming the first ever hire from North Carolina A&T.
I started out doing technology operations as a PeopleOps rotational associate, but pretty soon I realized that I wanted to be on the sales side, as I like seeing the dynamic of people, technology, and business. Eventually I left Google, went to business school, then did strategy and M&A work at a couple of places before I came back to do it at Cloud.
What drew you to M&A?
Working in sales taught me all about growing organically. M&A is exciting because the work drives enterprise value through inorganic acquisitions. I find it truly rewarding to identify and merge the various points of view, and make them ultimately work seamlessly together more organically. We always have to start with customer focus, but that can mean a lot of things. Then, when it comes to the acquisition, Google Cloud is first a customer that needs to get the right acquisition, and subsequently the company we acquire is a customer that needs to be acclimated to being a part of Google.
I always say, "Change should happen with people, not to people."
Is Black+TechAmplify a passion project, or an extension of what you do inside Cloud?
It's a bit of both. There are almost ten Google employees now supporting Black+TechAmplify, but the project started with me asking, “How many of our acquisitions have been Black-owned or women-owned?” It wasn't a lot. So we set out to identify tech startups that were Black-owned, and develop more resources and exposure, including ways to partner and grow with Google. After two cohorts, the companies have raised over $20 million in additional funding. We feel like it's a model we can extend to other founders from underrepresented groups.
I also partner closely with Google for Startups to support their review and selection of startup applicants, and serve as an Advisor for Black and Latinx founders in their programs. It's also encouraging to see a number of other companies, in addition to Google, now leaning into this kind of activity.
Is there a common theme in what you're doing at Cloud?
I'd say it's all focused on accelerating the growth of Google Cloud by accelerating the value capture for the customer, wherever they are. In every case, to accelerate value capture you have to look after people, making sure they are treated well. If you look after that, the profit will eventually come.