Affairs of the heart are never easy for outsiders to understand. But when they stray into the office, they, alas, become everyone's business. Which is why we asked, a while back, which Googler had put his marriage at risk over an affair with a coworker. As commenter notelling correctly guessed after we ran a blind item, it's Omid Kordestani, Google's top sales executive. Kordestani's no mere sales guy, however. For one, he's worth $2.2 billion, thanks to his Google shares. And inside the Googleplex, he's referred to as the company's "business founder," responsible for the fabulously successful money machine that is AdWords. With his stunningly beautiful and intelligent wife, Bita, shown above to the left, Kordestani might seem to have it all. But all was not enough.
Kordestani's new love, as is widely known within Google, is Gisel Hiscock, a New York-based finance director for the company.
Before you commenters say it, allow me: Yes, her last name is singularly unfortunate. But since Hiscock joined Google in 2003, before its lucrative IPO, it's unlikely that she's after Kordestani for his money. One imagines she might be more interested in obtaining a new surname.
But back to business. One tipster describes Hiscock's role as "sales finance," a group that now reports to Google's CFO, not Kordestani. Hiscock, however, has been at Google since 2003, and at one point sales finance reported to Kordestani. It's not clear when the affair began, but it's possible that Hiscock was Kordestani's employee at the time. And Kordestani, given his importance to the company, holds unspoken authority within Google that reaches beyond his direct line of command.
Even then, Google's published code of conduct is silent on the propriety of romantic relationships between employees, even when there's a reporting relationship. So it's possible Kordestani and Hiscock did absolutely nothing against the rules. Except for this part:
One way to consider whether a given action, relationship, gift, etc. constitutes a conflict of interest is to imagine you are at a company meeting. Could you justify your actions in front of your peers?
Imagine if Kordestani were ever called on to explain his relationship with Hiscock? CEO Eric Schmidt, Google's adulterer supervision, might be all too understanding. But the rest of Google?