Shona Brown

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Shona Brown in 2007

Shona L. Brown (born circa 1966) is a business executive and consultant to non-profits and corporations. She was an executive at Google from 2003 to 2012, where she was senior vice president of business operations.[1][2][3]


Brown has a bachelor of computer systems engineering from Carleton University in Canada and a master's degree in economics and philosophy from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Brown received her Ph.D from Stanford University's department of industrial engineering and engineering management, where she also did postdoctoral work on business theory.[4]

From October 1995 to August 2003, Brown was at McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, as a partner in the Los Angeles office since December 2000.[5][1] In 1998, she published the book Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos, with co-author Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, her doctoral advisor at Stanford.[6][7]

Brown joined Google in September 2003 and took on the responsibility of building both the people operations and business operations groups. In January 2006, she was promoted to senior vice president,[1] and CNN included Brown as one of four rising stars in their most powerful women in business section,[8] as a journalist called her Google's "chief chaos officer", testing her business theories at the company.[9] In October 2007 she was involved with an illegal non-solicitation compact to not poach engineers from Apple Inc.[10][3]

Fortune ranked Brown the sixth highest paid woman in 2010, with over $16 million in total compensation.[11] Effective April 13, 2011, Brown kept her title of senior vice president for Google, but business operations and human resources were moved under chief financial officer Patrick Pichette.[2][12] She became a senior vice president for the charitable group (following Megan Smith) from April 2011 to December 2012.[13] In early 2013, she stepped down to become an advisor to Google and other companies.

In November 2015, she joined the board of Atlassian.[14]

Brown is a director of the non-profit organizations such as San Francisco Jazz Organization, the Bridgespan Group, the Exploratorium, and Code for America.[15] Brown also served on the board of PepsiCo.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "Form 10-K: Google Annual Report for the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2007". US Securities and Exchange Commission. February 15, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Brown - Senior VP of Google". Corporate web site. Google. Archived from the original on December 30, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Sean Hollister (January 27, 2012). "Steve Jobs personally asked Eric Schmidt to stop poaching employees, and other unredacted statements in a Silicon Valley scandal". The Verge. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  4. ^ "Shona L. Brown". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  5. ^ "Shona L. Brown". Peek You. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  6. ^ Shona L. Brown and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt (May 20, 1998). Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos. Harvard Business Review Press. ISBN 978-0875847542.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  7. ^ Mike Peña (May 17, 2016). "More Modular and Manageable Google". eCorner. Stanford. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  8. ^ "50 Most Powerful Women in Business 2006: 4 rising stars". CNN. 2006. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  9. ^ Adam Lashinsky (October 2, 2006). "Chaos by design: The inside story of disorder, disarray, and uncertainty at Google. And why it's all part of the plan. (They hope.)". Fortune. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  10. ^ Mark Ames (March 25, 2014). "Newly unsealed documents show Steve Jobs' brutal response after getting a Google employee fired". PandoDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  11. ^ "25 highest-paid women: Shona L. Brown". Fortune magazine. CNN. September 30, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  12. ^ Liz Gannes (April 11, 2011). "More Google Management Changes: CFO Patrick Pichette Adds BizOps and HR to His Duties". All Things D. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  13. ^ "About". Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  14. ^ "Form F-1 Amendment 3: Registration of Securities". US Securities and Exchange Commission. December 7, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  15. ^ "Shona Brown". Code for America. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  16. ^ "Board of Directors Member Profiles". The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved January 26, 2017.

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